OB's & Midwives; and what to ask

Obstetricians. Certified Nurse Midwives. Home-Birth Midwives. Sometimes it can be tough to ask them the hard questions to get to know them and to know if they are a "good fit" for your upcoming birth. Often times I hear vigilanty doulas suggest the need for airtight birth plans for these medical people. A piece of paper with our desires for our birth clearly written out. Taken to every prenatal appointment and signed by these medical professionals we have chose to have attend our births. 

But why must we have a birth plan? Why the defense? Instead, I like to suggest a lighter approach; one that makes us birthing mommas a little less crazy and a little more personable. 

Drop the birth plan and get to know your provider.

Instead of expecting them to be against what we want or don't want, why not start a discussion? Ask them what their professional opinion/preference is for xyz situation? 

I'm waving the white flag. It's time to stop assuming they don't have our best interest. It's time to get to know them as the humans they are; who are in a line of work that sacrifices a lot for the benefit of their clients. 

So this is why I created this list. Questions that could help you get to know your OB, CNM, Midwife better. And help you decide if this is the right practice to have attend your birth.

1) What is your protocal for induction? When do you like to see it take place? 41, 42, 43 weeks? 

2) What if I'm GBH positive and don't want to take antibiotics? or my water breaks and labor doesn't begin within 12 hours?

3) What is your understanding of delayed cord clamping?

4) Do you routinely do episiotomies? What if I don't want one, even if I seem like I might tear?

5) Do you allow the baby psyiologically or do you like to help them rotate/emerge?

6) How do you prefer to let the placenta be delivered?

7) What natural things do you suggest doing if I go beyond xx weeks gestation?

8) How long do feel comfortable with moms laboring at home after her water has broken?

9) When do you prefer your clients to come in after contractions have started?

10) How do you feel about "mother directed pushing?"

11) If I prefer to decline an IV?

12) If my labor slows, is a breast pump a possibility? 

13) Do you routinely administer the pitocin shot in order to deliver the placenta/prevent hemorrhaging? 

14) How do you feel about clients declining cervical checks/limiting cervical checks during labor?

15) Do you routinely artificially break the water of laboring mothers? 

Dani Whaley