So you’re expecting a new baby!

It’s VITAL to find a birth provider and team that meshes with you and has the same outlook on pregnancy and birth as you do. A birth team can include a midwife, OB/GYN, Family Physician, Doula, Chiropractor, Childbirth educator, Acupuncturist, massage therapist, partner, and many more professions. But before we get to all of that, let’s look at a roadmap for our decision process:

  1. Educate yourself
  2. Understand your options
  3. Create your personal birth philosophy
  4. Choose your care providers
  5. Choose your birth environment

All of these are so important and build on top of one another.

There are (of course) a ton of questions you should ask, based on whats right for your family, but here are some ideas to help you figure all of those steps out:

  • Are you familiar with different childbirth education classes? i.e. Hypnobirthing, Bradley, Hypnobabies, Lamaze, Informed Beginnings, Birthing from within.
  • What do you know about chiropractic, massage, acupuncture during pregnancy?
  • How many ultrasounds do you normally do?
  • How often do you do cervical checks?
  • What are your recommendations for aches, pains, nausea, varicose veins, heartburn?
  • What are your thoughts and statistics on natural deliveries?
  • What is your opinion on doulas?
  • Are you supportive of allowing spontaneous labor to happen?
  • Are you open to alternatives to help labor? i.e. Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Acupressure, Nipple Stimulation, Herbs/Essential Oils
  • Can I wear my own clothes in labor?
  • Intermittent fetal monitoring, for or against?
  • Do you need an IV? Can they do a Hep-Lock?
  • Will you offer me pain medications?
  • May I empty my bladder in the toilet instead of a bedpan, commode chair, catheterization?
  • Are you comfortable with vocalization during labor?
  • May I eat during labor?
  • Can I drink fluids during labor? Or must I have Ice chips or IV fluids?
  • What kinds of comfort measures are you familiar with? Ie TENS unit, Hot/Cold packs, Shower, bath, compresses, massage, Aromatherapy, Doula support, lighting, music/sound machine, double hip squeeze, rebozo
  • Can I labor in multiple positions? Ie walking, lunging, sitting, rocking, standing, pelvic rocking, dangle, back to back, hands and knees, knee chest, squatting, toileting, leaning over bed, birth ball
  • Are birth balls allowed?
  • If labor is needing to speed up, can we use natural approaches? i.e. patience, nipple stimulation, position change?
  • Do you break water and/or use Pitocin to speed up labor?
  • Is a birth pool available?
  • How many cervical exams do you want to do?
  • What are your instructions on pushing? i.e. Spontaneous, directed, prolonged, varying positions, mirror, no “coaching”, passive descent, mother directed
  • What positions can I deliver in? i.e. Semi-lithotomy/semi-sitting, side-lying, hands and knees, squatting, standing, partner or self-catches, in water
  • Episiotomy, yay or nay?
  • Thoughts on delayed cord cutting?
  • Open to not cutting until 10 minutes later or Lotus birth?
  • Can partner cut the cord?
  • What is your approach to perineal care? i.e. massage, warm compresses, slow crowning/delivery, episiotomy, prefer self-stretching to episiotomy
  • Will the baby be put on my chest?
  • Can the baby have assessments on my chest?
  • Will we breastfeed as soon as possible?
  • Can we delay procedures on the baby for 1-2 hours?
  • Do you routinely use Postpartum Pitocin?
  • Will you let me keep my placenta?
  • Will you let placenta be birthed naturally? i.e. no pulling
  • Are you ok with the baby not leaving the room unless the partner is with them?
  • OK with not bathing the baby?
  • Will you accept if we do not want Hepatitis B vaccine?
  • Will you accept if we do not want erythromycin?
  • Will you accept if we do not want our baby circumcised?
  • Do you agree to not retract foreskin?
  • Feelings on breastfeeding exclusively?
  • Do you supplement formula or sugar water?
  • If C-section is necessary can a partner be present?
  • If C-section necessary, can partner hold baby immediately?
  • Will you allow one arm to be free?
  • Will you lower sterile drape for me to see delivery?
  • May I breastfeed in OR?
  • Can we take pictures/video in OR?


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