You're pregnant! Woohoo! This is such an amazing time in your life, but one that can come with lots of added stress and trying to figure things out now that you're pregnant. You are having to worry about things you never had to before!
The very first things to consider is what type of provider and birth do you want for yourself and baby. This is a decision that many mamas feel overwhelmed trying to make and have no idea where to even begin.
Also keep in mind that once you choose a provider does not mean you cannot change if things do not go well.
Questions to ask......
1. What are your routine practices during labor? (c-section, monitoring, food & drink, epidurals, inductions, etc.)
2. Reasons for inducing?
3. Ask what their c-section rates are?
4. Reasons for a c-section....
5. How they feel about going past 40 weeks?
6. Will they support you hiring a doula? (yes there are providers who do not allow a doula to be involved)
7. Do you limit the time I can be in labor? (sometimes doctors have a 24 hour rule)
8. During delivery & after (ask about episiotomies, delayed cord clamping, use of pitocin to deliver the placenta, immediate skin to skin with baby and delaying getting babys weight etc., coached pushing vs letting you birth baby on your own)
9. Vaccines during pregnancy
It is so important to meet with your provider at the very beginning. Usually they will want you to make your first appointment around 8 weeks and usually not before. The questions above are important so you can your doctor/midwife can have an understanding of expectations surrounding the birth of your baby.
Not only are you options during pregnancy and birth important, but also the environment you give birth is just as important. Some mamas waver back and forth between a home birth, birth center & hospital birth. Things to consider: Lights dim? In your own home environment? Water birth? Which do you feel safest in? What environment do you think your wishes and wants will be most respected?
Remember this is YOUR BIRTH! Choosing a provider who is evidence based is key and listening to your wants and needs and giving you true informed consent.