Three Pregnancy Questions to Ask Your OB or Midwife About Your Upcoming Labor

When you’re 40 weeks pregnant and excited for baby to come, the last thing you want are surprises. It’s important to know what pregnancy questions to ask.

When my due date arrived I had no contractions in sight. When I went in for my visit with my OB, I was disappointed (and surprised) to discover that her policy was to induce at 40 weeks.

Since I know that one-third of Cesareans are the result of failed inductions, and I really didn’t want to become part of that statistic, I was not happy. I wish I had thought to bring this important topic up in advance.

I convinced my provider to give me until 41 weeks, and thankfully, that one week was all it took for my daughter to come on her own (unfortunately it ended up in an emergency Cesarean but that’s another story).

My lesson? Surprises from our birth team are no fun – and many can be prevented if you know what pregnancy questions to ask in advance.

If that little voice inside feels uncomfortable about any topic, or just in the dark, ASK. It’s YOUR birth, and when it comes to birth, the little things become the big things. You remember them always.

Here are three pregnancy questions to ask that will help open the communication channels between you and your provider:

pregnancy questions

PREGNANCY QUESTION TO ASK #1: How long can I go past my due date before induction?

Science is now showing that, on average, first pregnancies last until 41 weeks. However, many providers still induce at the 40-week mark.

One to two weeks beyond your due date (with fetal assessment) is an ideal waiting period to give baby more time to come on their own.

Also ask about any natural induction and cervical ripening techniques they can do to get things going.

PREGNANCY QUESTION TO ASK #2: How do you feel about my using a doula?

A doula is someone who is there with you throughout labor, to be there for you emotionally, explain what’s going on, and make suggestions for positions and coping techniques. Studies show birth outcomes are better when we feel supported throughout labor.

If you decide to use a doula it’s important to know whether your provider is on board.

Learn more about what a doula does to make labor easier here.

PREGNANCY QUESTION TO ASK #3. Can I get in the shower during labor?

Some people call showering during labor “magic” due to its ability to ease, or sometimes even erase, the pain of contractions.

pregnancy questions

Different providers and different birth facilities sometimes prefer to keep you hooked up to monitors. It’s best to ask ahead and know what your options will be before you start your labor journey.

More on “The Power of the Shower” here.

Bonus Not-a-Question: Find Support

Birth is a crazy, exciting, emotional experience – and it can be life changing not to have people you trust surrounding and believing in you.

We need more than a person to help us – we need a whole team, so we can get different perspectives and different kinds of support throughout our pregnancy, labor and postpartum.

If any of these pregnancy questions, or any other questions you ask are answered in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s never too late to change your birth team.

Keep talking to medical providers until you find one that helps you feel heard, respected and empowered.

We have monthly doula check-ins on Zoom so you can talk to someone who’s been at hundreds of births and helped that many mamas make that many big decisions.

And of course, listen to that little voice inside. Your intuition will help guide you not only through your labor but throughout motherhood as well!

Print the full 10 Questions to Ask Your Ob Guide.

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