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12 Important questions to ask an OB before you book in with them

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

If you have just found out your are pregnant and are looking to have your birth in a private hospital with a private OB, you can interview several OB's before YOU choose which one you connect and is right for you. Before you decide on an OB have a think about what your birthing values are, what type of birth you would like and go with the list of questions to ask them to see if they are the right fit for you. Check out the below important questions below:

1.What are your thoughts on a natural birth with no intervention and what are your stats on the following:

· Emergency caesarean sections

· Epidurals

· Episiotomy’s

· Forceps

If you are wanting to have a natural birth, then it is good to get an idea on the rates of the above and compare then with other options including homebirths and your local hospital.

2. I do not want an episiotomy I would prefer to tear. What are your policies on this?

It is a good idea to ask these questions to get a feel for their preferred interventions and if they are hands on or hands off.

3. Are you flexible on the length of time I may be in first and second stages of labour or do you look for these stages to last no longer that specific times.

Having your birth rushed or being clock watched can be very stressful and put you under unnecessary pressure which in turn can create tension and fear in your body.

4. Do you support VBAC?

If they do, ask them the rates of VBAC they have delivered and what additional support, if any, you are given to achieve your VBAC.

5. What are your thoughts on induction and are you happy for me to go to full term if there are no medical complications?

Evidence-based practice is waiting to full term if there is no compromise to mum or baby.

6. If I am not 100% happy with any options, I am given over the course of my pregnancy what will be the next steps we would take together.

We have freedom of choice and we are allowed to ask for evidence-based information on whatever procedure they are recommending. We want to be given not just one option but a few options, so we can then make an informed decision about what to do next.

7. Will you be available on the day I give birth and if not, who will be the back up and will I meet them?

Meeting the rest of the support team, midwives and back up OB can be important for your feeling comfortable and relaxed and supported in the hospital environment.

8. Do you offer tours of the birthing suite?

Seeing where you will be birthing will put your mind at rest and help in the transition from home into a hospital environment.

9. What are your thoughts on Doula’s?

Having support from whoever you wish to enable your birth to be the best possible experience should be supported.

10. I would like to experience the breast crawl and have the first hour (if there are no medical emergencies) with my baby skin-to-skin and have any unnecessary examinations (wrapping, weighing, washing baby) saved until later. Any necessary medical examinations I would like with baby on my chest. Is this something you support and or is possible?

If there are no medical emergencies and baby is healthy then there should be no reason why you would be unable to honour these first hours together with breastfeeding, skin-to-skin, and bonding.

11. What are your thoughts on delayed cord clamping? Is this also possible in caesarean sections?

There is evidence-based information that delayed cord clamping, waiting for the cord to turn white, has benefits to the baby including them receiving all the blood and nutrients from the placenta.

12. If I wish to keep my placenta can this be made available to me and what would I need to bring with me to take it home?

If you want to keep your placenta there should be no reason why this would not be allowed. It is part of your body and if you wish to have it made in to capsules, smoothie or to take home and plant (for other beautiful ways to honour your placenta check out my blog on the placenta here) then that should be honoured.

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