Three Questions to Ask Your OB or Midwife About Your Upcoming Labor

It's important to ask the right questions during your pregnancy. This is about YOU, don't let the little things slowly become big things in your mind.

If that little voice inside feels uncomfortable about any topic, or just in the dark, ASK. It’s YOUR birth, and when it comes to birth, the little things become the big things. You remember them, and it matters.

When you’re 40 weeks pregnant, and excited for baby to come, the last thing you want are surprises. It’s important to ask the right questions!

When my due date arrived I had no contractions in sight. When I went in for my visit with my OB, I was disappointed (and surprised) to discover that her policy was to induce at 40 weeks. 

Since I know that one third of Cesareans are the result of failed inductions, and I really didn’t want to become part of that statistic, I was I not happy. I wished I had thought to bring this important topic up in advance. 

I convinced my provider to give me until 41 weeks, and thankfully, that one week was all it took for my daughter to come on her own. 

The lesson? Surprises from our birth team are no fun – and many can be prevented if you ask the right questions in advance.

If that little voice inside feels uncomfortable about any topic, or just in the dark, ASK. It’s YOUR birth, and when it comes to birth, the little things become the big things. You remember them, and it matters.

Here are three questions that will help open the communication channels between you and your provider:

1. How long can I go past my due date before induction?

Science is now showing that, on average, first pregnancies last until 41 weeks. However, many providers still induce at the 40-week mark. 

One to two weeks beyond your due date (with fetal assessment) is an ideal waiting period to give baby more time to come on their own. 

Ask about natural induction and cervical ripening techniques.

2. How do you feel about my using a doula?

A doula is someone who is there with you throughout labor to be there for you emotionally, explain what’s going on and make suggestions for positions and coping techniques. Studies show birth outcomes are better when we feel supported throughout labor.

If you decide to use a doula, it’s important to know whether your provider is on board.

3. Can I get in the shower during labor?

Some people call showering during labor “magic” due to its ability to ease, or sometimes even erase, the pain of contractions. Different providers and different birth facilities sometimes prefer to keep you hooked up to monitors. It’s best to ask ahead and know what your options will be before you start your labor journey. 

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Birth is a crazy, exciting, emotional experience – and it can be life changing not have people you trust surrounding and believing in you. 

If any of these questions, or any other questions you ask are answered in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s never too late to change your birth team. Keep talking to medical providers until you find one that helps you feel heard and empowered.

Listen to that little voice inside. Your intuition will help guide you not only through your labor, but throughout motherhood as well!

 

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