Interviewing Your Provider Recap

I wrote a post on this a long time ago, and mainly got it from websites and books.  Now that I have learned much more, I have questions to add 🙂

I will do a separate post for what to ask a doula, but this one will be about what to ask an OB/Midwife you are interviewing for your birth 🙂

1. Before you do anything, you have to get a list of providers from your insurance. If you belong to an HMO, you may need a referral from your physician for it to be covered.  If you don’t mind paying cash or on a scale, such as you would with a homebirth or birthing center, then you don’t need this list.

2. Call at least 3 OB/GYNs and Midwives (depending on your preference) and schedule consulatation appointments. Make sure they are accepting new patients and they aren’t overbooked. (If you are going to use a home birth midwife, make sure she isn’t stretched too thin around your due date. Most choose only 3 or 4 clients a month).

3. Write down your questions before you go in. Write them in order of importance. Most consultations only last about 15 minutes, so you need to make sure you get your most important questions answered. Don’t ask about doctor vacations, call schedules, and wait times at the office until you get your other questions answered.

4. Bring your partner with you. You both have to feel comfortable, especially if they will play an active role in the delivery.

5. Give the physician the benefit of the doubt until you find out otherwise. Your job is to ask the questions, not talk about how much you know about childbirth.

6. Make them give specific answers. If you ask what their percentage for cesareans is, don’t let them answer with “it’s average”. Make them give you their percent.

-Some good questions to ask:
1. How many babies they have delivered.

2. Who you can contact in an emergency

3. Who covers if they are unavailable

4. How they handle high risk pregnancies

5. If they write a birth plan with you and help you with what you want to do

6. Ask about their percentages for:

7.  Ask what practices they use that are routine (ie: vaginal checks before labor/during labor, electronic fetal monitoring, IVs, food and drink in labor, using water as pain relief, how they want you to give birth/if you can choose your own position, what happens to baby after birth, if baby is suctioned, if baby is bathed before nursing, rooming in policies, etc).

8.  When they want you to come in when you are in labor

9.  What they do if your water breaks before labor

10.  If they are a midwife, do they transfer care for anything?  If so, when/why do they transfer care to an OB?

11.  What is done if you go to 42 weeks

12.  How long their average prenatal visit is

13.  If they give you the consent papers before labor or during

14.  If the partner can catch the baby/cut the cord

15.  Do they use ultrasound to check baby’s position or do they palpate the belly

There are so many more questions you can ask them.  Try to get a feel for the provider.  Again, make sure they give you REAL answers, not just yes/no/it’s average.  If they don’t give specifics they are pulling you along.  Also, see if you can get referrals.  Talk to other patients if you can in the waiting room before the appointment.  Talk to doulas in the area that might have worked with them.  See what they think.  Go to LLL meetings, ask around about the providers you interview.

This interview will help you choose who will be at your baby’s birth.  You need to be comfortable with them.  But also remember, you can change providers up until the baby comes out 🙂  It isn’t just a one shot choice.  You can always change your mind.


2 Responses

  1. This is exactly what I needed. I am going to be writing my interview questions asap. Thanks!

  2. Hi there!! Please follow me back on Twitter. I really wanna chat to you. Have been loving your uc posts. Please please follow me. I’m Gogomumma

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