Here is a helpful list of questions to ask your midwife or OB/GYN at your next appointment.
Life – and birth – happens while we’re making plans. And yet, if we are clear about what we want, we increase the chances that it’ll happen. When we understand what will happen in different situations – “if this, then this” – we can then get the support we need to have a positive experience.
Here are a few questions for your provider to make sure you’re on the same page:
- How long can I go past my due date before induction? 1-2 weeks with fetal assessment is ideal since science is now showing that first pregnancies on average go until 41 weeks.
- How do you feel about me having a doula? Births often go better when there’s someone there to support you emotionally.
- Can I get in the shower during labor? Some people call it “magic water” – it washed away even the pain of back labor for me, which was pretty intense.
- If I choose to use epidural anesthesia, how long can I push for before Cesarian birth is performed? At least 4 hours is preferable.
- Will I need an episiotomy? Only if necessary.
- When should you arrive at the hospital? When you are 6-9 centimeters.
- Will you be going out of town near my due date? Hopefully not, and if it’s at all possible, ask if you meet with partners just in case?
- Can I walk around and change positions during labor. Yes
If you feel good about the answers you get, you can relax knowing you’ll have the support you’ll need. If you have even a little discomfort with the responses you get, talk to other OBs or midwives until you feel fully understood, respected and nurtured.
There’s plenty of time to put together the right birth team for you. Over the years, I’ve learned that no matter how birth goes, there’s only one thing that causes regret: when we didn’t listen to that wise, clear, “Ma” voice inside.
Trust your inner GPS. How do find it?
Do prenatal yoga!
Also, if you’re looking for a supportive community of mamas, hop in to our Facebook group!