How to choose a provider (OBGYN or Midwife) for your birth.
Choosing a provider for your pregnancy is important! After deciding where you want to give birth that can help narrow down your options.
If you are giving birth at home or a birth center you'll be with a midwife. Here is more info about the different types of midwives.
If you are giving birth at hospital you may have a choice between a midwife and an OBGYN.
After you decide the type of provider you want you can reach out potential candidates in your area and set up interviews, this will allow you to meet them, get a feel for them, and decide if you want them to help you through your pregnancy.
Below I have questions for you to ask the potential provider and questions to ask yourself to reflect on to hep you make this important decision! You don't have to ask all of them but these are a starting point for you to get to know them before you start seeing them regularly and/or paying them for your care.
Questions for your provider:
What is your general philosophy regarding pregnancy
(If you have a doula) How do you feel about doulas?
Will you support my specific birth plan/goals?
What routine tests do you recommend during pregnancy?
Will you be at my birth? If you can’t be there who will be?
How long before you typically recommend induction?
What would you consider reasons to induce?
(OBGYN) What is your elective induction rate? C-section rate?
(MIDWIFE) What’s your hospital transfer rate?
When should I call you after my labor begins? When should I come to the hospital/birth center?
Are you patient with labor to let it progress on its own time? Do you limit the length of labors?
Do you practice/offer intermittent fetal monitoring if everything is going well?
Will you allow me to eat and drink during labor? Are there any circumstances under which I wouldn’t be able to?
What types of non-medical pain management techniques do you support?
Does the hospital/birth center have tubs/showers I could labor in?
Will you allow me to choose my position for delivery?
(OBGYN) What’s your rate of episiotomies? How often do you use forceps or vacuums to assist in birth? When would these techniques be necessary?
Do you observe the golden hour?
How will you support my infant feeding choices?
Do you allow all routine baby exams to be done on my chest after delivery?
If you already have a provider picked ask yourself these questions:
Do I feel listened to?
Do I trust them?
Do they include me in conversations around my body?
do they ask for permission before they touch my body? Do they explain a procedure before they do it?
Do I feel pressured into decisions?
Do they try to suppress my worries? (phrases like "we'll talk about that later" "don't worry about that" "you're fine")
Do I trust they will advocate and support my choices?