Traditional OBGYN, or Midwife? Or both? It’s really up to you. Your comfort level is what’s most important with your prenatal care and going through your labor and delivery.
From someone that’s had both, some uncomfortable, some not, here are the best tips and considerations you should make as a pregnant mother looking for her care provider.
No matter who you’re talking to, get familiar with their views and answers to these questions.
What facility are you affiliated with?
This is important because even hospitals and birthing centers have their own procedures and views on how to treat a mother in labor that may differ from your care provider.
If you have an OBGYN, take a visit through the maternity ward in the hospital that they work at. Get to know the differences between your doctor’s views versus what they often see happening with the staff at the hospital.
If you have a midwife, clarify where she can come to support you, at a facility or at home. Ask her experience with different places her patients have given birth. Understand her influence in a facility versus her own decisions at play if you’re at home.
How do you feel about natural labor and birth?
This is the starting question, of course. But feel free to continually ask them questions around this idea if that’s what you desire, a natural birth. They may state that they’re in support of it, but then in the weeks getting closer, or during labor, they’re view can change.
Depending on their perspectives about interventions and your individual circumstances, they may be fully supportive of your decisions, or state that they need to do things a certain way. I can’t list every single question or option here in this post.
But if you redirect the conversation back to your preference of what you want your birth to be, with every circumstance they expect to encounter, you’ll get a better sense of how they’ll support you during delivery.
What emergency circumstances would absolutely warrant an intervention or cesarean?
Sometimes your care provider may consider simple problems, such as a baby getting stuck during pushing, as a reason for a c-section. Whereas, another provider may encourage every possible option in order to assist baby’s continued delivery without surgery, as long as the baby is fine.
It’s important to know this with your provider. Ask them about the process if this is the case and what to expect if necessary.
- What is the likelihood of this happening for you and your baby’s individual health circumstances?
- If you need to be transported somewhere for an emergency, how does this happen?
- What is their role in the situation?
- What contingencies do you need to be decided upon?
Don’t dwell too long on questions like this, because it can spark worry. Just get the basics so you’re aware, and then move forward with positive intention that there won’t be need for any emergency.
Extra Tip … Get To Know The Staff
If you’re birthing in a hospital or center, be sure to talk directly to some of the staff. There are great nurses, then there are awful ones that don’t care what the mother desires.
You can have every thing decided upon with your birth plan and have it completely ignored. You can have every single thing done for you above and beyond your birth plan too.
If your midwife has an assistant or doulas to attend as well, interview them too. Get a feel for their type of care. You can sense a lot about people from their energy and a simple conversation. I’ve had moms share great experiences about their midwives and doulas, and also the opposite.
So it’s not just contained within a nursing staff in a hospital or attendees in a birthing center. I would also include your birthing partner in this scenario. Whoever is with you, your mother, your husband, talk to them about what’s important to you during your birth so you can have their support.