I think I want to have a more natural labor and birth -- or at the very least, I want the options available to me in my birth setting. What questions should I ask my care provider to make sure that they're the right fit for my birth plan?
Choosing the right care provider plays a big role in the health, happiness and safety of your birth experience. It's a good idea to interview care providers before settling in on the one you want. If you've already chosen your care provider, make sure to talk to him/her about your intended birth plan. If they aren't supportive of what you would like during birth, look into changing your care provider, even if you're in the middle or late stages of your pregnancy. Here are a few questions to consider when talking to your care provider about their birth practices:
- What can I expect at routine visits throughout my pregnancy?
- Do you support natural labor and birth?
- Can I expect you to attend my birth?
- Who can be with me during labor and birth?
- Do you support women who want to labor out of bed?
- Will I be able to use comfort measures during labor and birth? (example: shower, birth ball, walking)
- What positions do you recommend for labor and birth?
- Will I be able to eat and drink when I am in labor?
- What happens during a normal labor and birth in your care?
- What do you normally do to help women in labor? Delivery?
- What do you consider routine interventions for labor? (example: IV fluids, continuous fetal heart monitor, episiotomy, breaking my membranes)
- Instead of drugs, what would you recommend for pain relief during labor?
- How would you support me to breastfeed?
Learn more about the recommended Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices for a safe and healthy birth, as well as this tip sheet for considering a care provider.Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator Rachel Bohn has been a doula for 9 years and has been teaching Lamaze classes for 3 years. She currently teaches private Lamaze classes in the comfort of clients homes. You can learn more about her services by e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.