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How To Pick The Best Birth Provider (For You!)

When I started this business, I wanted all women to feel empowered in their journey into motherhood. My passion for movement has primarily landed me in the field of coaching women in fitness but I also want women to have a positive birth experience and choosing your provider definitely has a huge role in achieving that.

In choosing a birth provider – you first need to know your desires. Do you want un-medicated? Epidural? Elective csection? Some of the questions below will spark desires you didn’t know you had!

Step one: write down what a positive birth experience looks like for you. What are the desires you have?

You want a provider that will advocate for you and help you stay informed and make the best decision for your specific labor + birth.

Below are questions that you may or may not have known to ask your provider – their answers paired with your desires will be the driving force in your decisions of whether or not you want to choose them!

Remember:: we cannot guarantee a specific outcome for birth – but we CAN do our homework and know our options given our circumstances.

Questions for an OBGYN::

  • How do you see your role as a birth provider?
  • What is your birth philosophy?
  • What is your average wait time for appointments? What is the average duration of each prenatal appointment?
  • Walk me through a typical prenatal appointment, what goes on during each visit?
  • Do you recommend any childbirth education or childbirth prep classes?
  • How many ultrasounds do you perform during pregnancy and why?
  • What tests do you recommend/require for pregnancy and why? (Gestational Diabetes, Blood Tests, etc)
  • Do you require me to receive DTAP? (A vaccine widely administered to pregnant women when no studies have been performed on the safety to baby and momma).
  • What are your thoughts on unmedicated childbirth? Epidural?
  • What is your philosophy on weight management during pregnancy? (Will they weigh you every visit? Are they vocal about how much a woman should gain? If you have a history with body image issues, this could potentially be triggering, so best to discuss this ahead of time.)
  • What would be reasons for an induction? What is classified as medically necessary?
  • How many weeks would you typically wait until induction would be necessary? (41+? 42+? etc)
  • What is your induction rate? (Not the hospitals – their specific rate as a provider)
  • What is your Csection rate?
  • What are the typical interventions you use and why? (fetal monitoring, pitocin, breaking the waters, forceps + vacuum)
  • What is your stance on vaginal checks, how often do you perform them?
  • How do you measure progress in labor?
  • What do you consider high risk or complications during pregnancy and labor?
  • Are you experienced in turning babies that are breech?
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • If you are gone during my labor + birth who else would be attending? Can I meet them?
  • How can I reach you?
  • Do you support movement in labor?
  • How do you feel about doulas or other assistants present during labor? Can my husband + children attend?
  • What is the environment like in the hospital room? Can I turn the lights down lower? Can I minimize who and how often people come in?
  • Can I eat and drink during labor?
  • Once labor begins, when should I come to the hospital?
  • What do you recommend for pain management in labor? (if you are wanting to do an unmedicated birth and they don’t have many other recommendations besides epidurals – this is a clue they may not be for you.) Hint:: They should have at least 5 different comfort measures/tools for you. Ie: free movement, water therapy like shower or tub, essential oils, balls, rebozo, etc.
  • If baby is in a less than optimal position during labor, what experience do you have in helping baby turn or move head? (do they know different movements and labor positions that would help?)
  • Do you perform vbacs? Gentle csections? (gentle csections are more family friendly and are used in a nonemergency state, they are awesome and a great idea if you are planned for one.)
  • What procedures do you recommend/require for infant after birth and why? What are they for? (PKU testing, Vit. K, Hep B, Eye ointment, etc)
  • Do you delay cord clamping and baths? Do you promote skin to skin as soon as baby is born?

Questions for Midwife::

  • Are you licensed or certified?
  • What are you requirements to accept patients to birth in this setting?
  • What drugs or equipment do you have available?
  • Do you have a formal agreement with an OBGYN if a complication occurs?
  • Should I meet them?
  • In case of transfer, what hospital would I be transferred to? How far away is it?
  • What is your transfer rate? What are the situations in which you would transfer me?
  • Would you stay with me?
  • Are you trained in newborn resuscitation?
  • What can I expect for postnatal care, for me? For baby?
  • What is the average length of appt? What happens during a typical prenatal appt?
  • How can I reach you?
  • Have you ever missed a home birth? Why?
  • What happens if another client goes into labor when I do?
  • What happens if the cord is wrapped around babies neck?
  • Can my husband + children attend?
  • What comfort measures do you recommend during labor?
  • Do you recommend specific childbirth classes?
  • What tests do you usually perform during pregnancy?
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