As your due date approaches, it's normal to have questions about everything regarding labor and delivery. Everything from "what will I eat?" to "where will the baby sleep?" is fair game, especially the first time around. If you've never had a baby before, going to the hospital to deliver will feel like venturing into unknown territory, no matter how many "how-to" books you read beforehand. However, there are a few ways to help you feel more prepared as the big day approaches. Arming yourself with a few questions to ask your OB before labor and delivery will help put your mind at east and give you a bit of direction.
Although you get more confident wth each pregnancy, the first time around is often the most worry-filled. I remember picturing myself on my due-date and panicking because I didn't have a step-by-step guide of what to do when I started having contractions.
When you're about to have a baby, every bit of information and reassurance helps. And although, there's only so much preparation you can do, (labor is never predictable,) knowing the answers to these questions will help you get to know your OB or midwife and the facility you'll be delivering in.
1. Who Will Be Delivering My Baby?
Different hospitals and birth centers have different policies about who delivers babies. More often than not, the OB on call will deliver all babies born during their shift, but in other situations, you may be able to choose.
2. How Do You Feel About Epidurals/Natural Births?
Regardless of how you plan to deliver, asking your doctor about their feelings on natural labor, as well as what pain medications they suggest.
3. Will You Take My Birth Plan Into Consideration?
There's no point in creating a birth plan if your medical staff will disregard it. Although most hospitals are accommodating to the mother's wishes (as they should be,) some aren't as flexible.
4. What Is The C-Section Rate Of The Hospital?
Although the C-section rate in the U.S. is already much higher than most other countries, some hospitals work hard to minimize it. The national rate for C-sections is about one in three, according to Stat News, but some hospitals are more reluctant to perform them than others.
5. What's Your Policy On Induction?
Similar to C-sections, different doctors have different policies about if and when to induce. Some OB's prefer to never induce unless medically necessary, but other's are quicker to the draw when it comes to inducing expecting moms.
6. If I Go Into Labor, Where Should I Go?
I remember having a sudden sense of panic about not knowing where to go once I went into labor. Should I go to the emergency room? Do I just storm into the maternity ward screaming "I'm in labor!" like they do in the movies? Do I wait at home? Asking your OB what the best policy is for when your water breaks or your contractions start can help ease your anxiety.
7. Can I Breastfeed Right Away?
One piece from Belly Belly noted the importance of mothers having an uninterrupted hour with their babies immediately after birth. In these time, mothers can breastfeed (which encourages a healthy latch,) hold, and bond with their baby before any tests are performed.