Bottom line, the main reason for your first interview is to determine if this practitioner can deliver the birth experience you want.
You may not be able to ask all the questions you have on the 1st interview but as your birth philosophy develops, it is important to have these discussions with your doctor, so neither one of you gets surprised. Communication is extremely important because you can't read their mind and they can't read yours.
Here is a PDF of the questions below that you can download.
Here are some questions you can ask:
- What training and expertise do you have? Do you participate in continuing education?
- What hospital do you deliver at? (Some doctors deliver in more than one hospital. After you figure out what your birth wishes are, find out which hospital would be right for you?)
- Ask about the doctors call schedule? Who cover’s for them? What is their birth philosophy? If he/she is part of a group of doctors, can you meet them all?
- What exercises are safe during pregnancy?
- What prenatal tests does the doctor advise and why? If he says routine tests, ask them what and why?
- What does your doctor think about doulas (a professional labor support person)? Does the office have referrals?
- What is the doctor’s recommended schedule for prenatal visits?
- How do they feel about natural birth?
- How does he/she feel about birth plans and can they help you create one?
- What are your doctors view on walking and changing positions during labor?
- What about pain management? What are their views on epidurals, pain relief by injection, and use of labor tubs for pain management?
- What is your doctor’s views on episiotomy? Routine? As needed? What alternatives to episiotomy do they use at delivery?
- If you had a previous Cesarean birth and wish to try a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), what’s your doctor’s view on VBAC success rates and what specific measures will he/she offer to increase your chances? Does your doctor believe you can have a VBAC?
- How many woman in your practice breastfeed and request rooming-in with their babies?
- What will happen if I am 10 days over my due date? Will you et me go 10 days past my due date?
Questions for office staff
- Fees, insurance plans, vacation schedule, and payment plans.
Questions to ask your midwife
Ask them the same questions you would ask the doctor. But also ask:
- Where did you receive your education in midwifery? Are you also a nurse? Are you certified and by whom? Are you licensed?
- How long have you practiced? Approximately how many births have you attended? Do you have references?
- Who is your back up doctor? How often is the doctor used or called in?
- At what point is the doctor usually called in? Will I have a say in the decision? Will I be able to meet the doctor? Who covers for the doctor when he or she is busy? I s the doctor’s fee included in the fee I pay you? Are you allowed to stay with me if we have to call the doctor? What about a cesarean birth? Will you be in the room? (Make sure you confirm with the doctor that they are that midwife’s back-up).
- Who covers for you if you get called in or on vacation? Are they also certified and licensed and what is their experience?
- Do you carry a pager or cell phone?
- At what point in my labor will I come to you or you come to me? Will you stay with me my whole labor if I ask?
- What kind of routine testing to you do?
- Do you provide childbirth education?
- What arrangements do you have to transfer a home-birthing mother or baby to the hospital if needed?
- Are you certified in newborn resuscitation? What resuscitation equipment to you carry with you?
- Do you preform episiotomy? Perineal massage? Are you experienced at manually turning a baby who is in a posterior position?
- What are your fees? (Some insurance companies cover midwives so check with your provider to see if they cover that particular midwife.)
- Do you offer postpartum care? What are the services you provide?
How Will You Know If You Found The Right Fit?
Your decision will be more based on your heart than your head. Ask yourself some questions.
- Do I feel safe with this person? Will your baby feel safe? Would you leave your baby with this person for the weekend???
- Do you feel that you can or that you do make decisions together or do you feel pressured to agree?
- Does your healthcare provider to encourage you to ask questions?
- Are you pleased with the care you are getting?
- What is your gut telling you? What is that little voice telling you? Is it telling you to move on? Is she/he the one? You can switch healthcare providers at anytime, it's never to late. Many women do change healthcare providers.
Here is a PDF of the questions above that you can download.
QUESTION: Do you have a question you would like to ask your healthcare provider? But are to afraid to ask? OR Can you think of a great question to ask that I forgot to add to the list above. I would love to hear from you so please add your comment in the box below. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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