Questions to Ask Your Obstetrician
Updated: Oct 23, 2021
Finding the right people to join your birth team can be a daunting task, as it is so important. Here are some questions you should ask your obstetrician when trying to find the right fit. Remember that you don’t necessarily have to choose an obstetrician as your care provider.
1. Can you provide me with a copy of the policies & guidelines for the hospital I will be birthing at?
Policies and guidelines are not the same, and it is best to be informed of the policies (which must be followed) before locking in a hospital and obstetrician. Guidelines are only recommendations and there is no requirement that you follow them. This will ensure you are aware of your rights and feel comfortable in standing up for you decisions if somebody tries to tell you you’re ‘not allowed’ to do something.
2. In what circumstances would you recommend an induction?
This will give you a good idea of what your OB deems to be necessary medical intervention or a ‘normal’ birth/pregnancy, and you can see if this aligns with your ideas.
3. What are your thoughts on birth plans?
Preparing a birth plan (even if it doesn’t get followed to a tee) is one of the best ways to get prepared for the arrival of your baby, especially if it will happen in a hospital setting ensure where different nurses and doctors may be attending to you to ensure everyone is on the same page. Having both an OB who is supportive of birth plans and educated and prepared parent(s) will probably make your experience better.
4. Can you tell me some of your client statistics?
§ Hearing some solid numbers regarding how many of an OB’s clients give birth vaginally vs by caesarean, how many have medical intervention such as induction or episiotomy etc can provide you with much insight to how your OB works.
5. What options do you provide for c-sections? Do you offer mother-centred options/gentle caesareans?
Finding out if your OB offers certain options that have shown to benefit both mother and baby when having a caesarean can bring much peace of mind, if these options are something you are interested in. You can ask about options such as mother-assisted caesareans, delayed cord clamping and immediate skin to skin.
6. How long do you prefer to wait for the delivery of the placenta?
Many women face some kind of medical intervention in the placenta delivery stage of birth, when all they really need is patience. Find out if your OB supports waiting up to an hour if there is no risk.
7. Ask about any medications you are taking and if it is safe to continue taking them during pregnancy.
Remember to not stop taking any medications without consulting a doctor.
8. Are you scheduled/planning to take any holidays in the near future/around my due date?
Making sure the OB you have chosen and gotten comfortable with will be present for your birth will bring much peace of mind. Asking this question can also indicate to you if you are recommended to have an induction if you are due around the time of a holiday that something else may be at play, rather than it being the best medical decision for you and your baby.
9. Ask about any fees associated with the type of birth you are having
This will prevent any surprise fees from popping up, although this shouldn’t happen as you have the right to be informed about any fees beforehand, according to financial transparency laws.
10. How many support people can I have present during my birth?
This is an especially important question to ask during COVID, when different regulations may apply than usual. However, you are entitled to having any support person of your choosing present. Remember again to ask about the hospital policy and guidelines.