One of the first decisions that you have to make as soon as the little stick turns pink is who your care provider is going to be. This one decision can set the tone for the rest of your pregnancy. It can determine if you will get your desires and wishes made for you. It can even determine if you will have a vaginal birth or a c-section!
I feel like, often times, we are super picky about everything AFTER baby comes. We tirelessly search for a great pediatrician that lines up with our views. Finding a day care provider is a rigorous process to ensure that they will care for your children the way that you would. Even our children’s playmates are held to a high standard so that our children aren’t learning things that we don’t approve of (whether that be new fun words or…alternative… behaviors).
But why…WHY…are we not as picky about the providers that will help to bring our little loves into the world? Why do we just accept the first doctor that is taking on new patients? Why do we blindly follow the advice of our friends and family about who they used and loved or hated without investigating further for ourselves? As stated before, this is the first big decision we need to make for our children and it needs to be approached as carefully as all the future decisions will be.
So, what do you need to do? Interview them! Interview potential care providers and see who most lines up with your goals and beliefs about your birth. I’ve even taken the liberty of providing you with a list of questions to ask at your interview (which is sometimes your first prenatal).
Questions to ask your OB:
- How many births do you attend in a month?
- How long have you been practicing obstetrics?
- How can I reach you in an emergency?
- Do you have a backup or do you work in a group practice?
- If you are in a group practice, will you be definitively be the one to deliver my baby?
- What is your birth philosophy?
- If you are in a group practice, do the other practitioners share your birth philosophy?
- What is your C-Section rate?
- How much time do you allow for prenatal appointments?
- What is covered in a typical prenatal exam?
- If I have a question between phone calls, will you be the one to answer my questions or would an on-call nurse handle questions.
- Are you open to birth plans and the use of doulas?
- Are you open to a drug free and non-augmented birth?
- Would you be willing to let me go to 42 weeks as long as baby and I were handling the pregnancy well?
- Do you perform routine episiotomies?
- Are you supportive of breastfeeding and an undisturbed first hour of life?
Feel free to add any as you see fit or comment if you have suggestions for additional questions.