Here are some questions to encourage a conversation and to help you get a sense of how your care provider might approach various circumstances with regard to your birth.
Remember, it's never too late to make a change if you do not feel comfortable with the care that you receive.
1. Is there a limit to the number of people who may be there to support me at my birth ?
2. Will I be able to eat and drink ?
3. What if my water breaks at, or near my due date before contractions begin ?
4. What if my due date comes and goes with no labor ?
5. If labor needs help getting started, what might you recommend?
6. Do you perform episiotomies?
7. What is your cesarean rate ?
8. What is your induction rate ?
9. How do you feel about VBAC ( Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) ?
10. How long have you been practicing ?
11. How do you feel about breech delivery ?
12. ( For homebirth midwives ) How do you handle back up ?
13. Who are your consultant obstetricians ?
14. Who are your helpers, and how well are they trained ?
15. How do you handle emergency transfers to the hospital ?
By asking a lot of questions, you can be better prepared to for a positive relationship with your care provider, with whom you need to be able to trust wholeheartedly as partner in helping you bring your baby into the world. And remember, your care provider is secondary to your participation and inner wisdom. If you feel like something is not quite right, follow your instincts and ask questions until you are satisfied with the answers you have been given. You are the best expert on what's best for you and your baby !