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Questions To Ask A New OB/GYN

Picking a new doctor can be a complicated task for people, but it can be especially daunting

when you're searching for an OB/GYN. All women know how awkward it can be to go to those types of check-ups. When you're pregnant and looking forward to delivery and postpartum recovery, there are additional things to consider.


Here are some of our favorite questions to ask a new provider (OB/GYN, midwife, etc):

  • What is your general view/philosophy/approach to pregnancy and childbirth?

You can learn a lot based on how someone approaches pregnancy and birth! Finding a provider that offers excellent care and has similar ideas and goals as you can be a huge asset as your go through these next few months.

  • How do you approach patient care? Are you willing to work with preferences and discuss standards of care and possible alternatives?


We go to medical professionals for their expertise, but sometimes, due to personal research, instinct, or even religious convictions, we may have personal reasons to consider things outside their "normal" standards of care. It's good to get an idea of how flexible a physician/group is, and what things are non-negotiables for them. After all, it's better for BOTH if you are with a provider who is committed to your safety AND personal goals.


  • Are you comfortable working with doulas or other support people in the room?

If you want to have extra support people (mother, sister, doula, etc), it's good to verify that your care provider is used to that or is willing to allow that. Some hospitals gave continued to have tighter restrictions since covid, and some providers simply don't feel comfortable working around others.


  • What are your induction and c-section rates? What kind of situations would indicate the need for those, in your opinion?


For some, a scheduled induction or c-section is exactly what they want. For others, these things may be top of their list to avoid and knowing how your physician approaches these (and other interventions) can help you decide if it's the right fit.


  • What kinds of pain relief options are available where I will deliver?


Maybe you envision laboring a bit but then getting an epidural pretty soon after arriving at the hospital. Maybe you envision avoiding all pain medications and utilizing hydrotherapy to cope with birthing pains. Or maybe you envision utilizing a few other options (IV pain meds, a TENS unit, a bit of nitrous oxide) and seeing how far that takes you. Any way you go, you need to know what options are actually available for you in your birthing location.


  • Will you be on call when I'm in labor, or will I deliver with whoever is available from your group or hospital?


It goes without saying that knowing what to expect, or rather who to expect, can help you mentally prepare for labor and delivery.


  • What can I expect in the first few hours after birth?

While you can always make decisions in the moment, it can be really helpful for couples to have a general idea of what they would like to see in the first moments after delivery, before the actual delivery. Standards of care and hospital policy will vary from place to place, but individual care providers often have their own method of handling things. Touching base about your preferences (or in certain cases, unique circumstances or religious convictions) will get everyone on the same page and hopefully avoid tense or awkward conversations immediately following birth.

Things like delayed cord clamping, immediate skin-to-skin, breastfeeding support, how and where to handle baby checks, vaccinations and medical decisions are things you can mention,


If you're currently pregnant and wanting a more thorough list of questions and considerations for labor and delivery, consider taking our Childbirth Education course! We thoroughly cover what to expect, what questions to ask, and how to approach everything between the first contraction and taking your baby home at the very end. We offer both 3-day and 1-day (intensive) courses, as well as private classes when requested.

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