- List of questions to ask in an interview.
- Useful for obstitricians, family doctors, midwives – any medical professional who delivers babies.
- This one you choose will provide prenatal care, will manage the birth, and will make choices that affect your birth process.
Choosing a birth doctor or midwife is a key step and will heavily influence many things about how your birth will proceed. Be cautious in you selection.
Not all doctors will hear your desire for a natural or drug free birth the same way. Stories abound of doctors who say they offer a natural birth, but when push comes to shove (so to speak), they show a different face, following practices that make induction and other intervention much more likely.
One merely needs t look at the alarming and increasing rate of inductions and caesarean sections to understand this idea.
Parents sometimes end up with a birth so very different than their declared desires, and a postpartum period in the hospital (for both mother and baby) so out of their control and that so violates their values. They feel betrayed and on a course that sets the stage for future health problems for both mother and baby.
Ask penetrating questions of any doctor you might use.
You must be the one choosing the doctor, not your husband, not the medical system.
Think of the things you are concerned about and ask “What do you do IF such and such happens.”
Get specific answers.
Based on Doctor Ginsburg’s training and experience, here are some things to ask of any birth doctor or midwife. (She can also offer referrals.)
- Ask what their “induction rate” is.The induction rate is how often the doctor uses drugs to push a woman into labor because he decides the labor has not happened soon enough. The less often he does it, the better.Labor induced by drugs is more intense and difficult for the mother, and because of this often leads to the need for other medical interventions, (because the body is not completely in its own rhythm), and these interventions seem to demand more intervention, more technology, making birth more and more complicated, and caesarean-section (c-section) more likely.
- Ask the doctor what his/her c-section rate is.The lower the better here. Compare it to the rates of midwives you interview. You want to avoid c-sections if at all possible.
- What are their indications for induction?(“Indications” are rules they use to guide their choices. Not all doctors use the same rules.)
- How do they handle babies that are overdue?How many weeks do they consider “overdue”? This varies, and some doctors may start counting from an earlier point.If they deem a baby is overdue (which can vary doctor to doctor), doctors usually induce labor contractions quickly and powerfully with a drug called pitocin. Natural doctors (and midwives) usually start with particular foods or gentle herbs to nudge the body into stronger labor and contractions instead of using drugs. (These often work well.)
- Do they allow food and drink during labor?This is essential to keeping the woman strong, but sometimes the doctor or hospital restrict them! Women in labor are like marathoners. They need food and drink.
- Do they allow you to get out of bed and walk around during labor, or squat or move on all fours?(Can you think of anything sillier than forcing someone doing intense exercise to do them all on their back, in only a single position, even if the exercise is better done in a different position? And every woman benefits from moving around and testing different positions during labor.)