Choosing a care provider that will take care of you during your pregnancy and birth experience can be a daunting task for many moms-to-be. While your outcome and their outcome will be the same (a healthy mom and healthy baby), choosing a care provider that has the same birth philosophy as you, will support your birth preferences, listen to you, and empower you along the way, will play a large role in contributing to you having a positive birth experience.
Here are 7 Questions to Ask a Potential Care Provider…
-What is their birth philosophy?
Asking a potential care provider what their birth philosophy is can tell you a lot about their approach. Do they view birth as a natural, physiological process that should be left undisturbed until they need to step in? Do they view birth as a process that requires preventative procedures? Do they view birth as a medical process that requires continuous monitoring? Their birth philosophy and your birth philosophy should be relatively similar.
-Are they supportive of unmedicated births?
This is an important question to ask if your goal is to have an unmedicated birth. If you have made this decision, you are going to want lots of support; not a care provider that is going to be suggesting pain medication when you in fact want to avoid it.
-What is their c-section rate?
Finding out what a care provider’s c-section rate is can be very helpful and save you from a potential major and unnecessary surgery. According to the World Health Organization 10-15% of c-sections are medically necessary. However a study that took place in Canada between 2016-2017 showed that 29.1% of women who gave birth in hospital received a c-section. Most providers have a good idea what their c-section rate is so if they are not willing to tell you, their rate is probably high.
-What is their episiotomy rate?
While some episiotomies are necessary, they shouldn’t be something that a care provider routinely does. And if they do, run! Routine episiotomies are no longer recommended because they can oftentimes do more damage than good. A care provider that does routine episiotomies is unlikely to offer you position suggestions and other supports to prevent perineal tearing.
-Will they be the doctor attending your birth?
For some women, this is very important. Many doctors work on a rotating on-call basis with the other doctors within their practise. This means that you may or may not have your doctor attend – it simply depends if you go into labor and they are on-call at the same time. If your care provider is your family doctor, the likelihood of them being the one attending your birth is greater.
-What is their view on allowing patients to go past 41 weeks?
I have heard of care providers having the induction talk with women who are only 38 weeks pregnant, with no medical reason as to why they should be induced…yikes! Many doctors will suggest induction early in the 41st week of pregnancy but what happens if you don’t want to be induced (if there is no medical reason for it)? Will they support you in holding off as long as possible?
-What is their view on doulas?
Whether or not you choose to have a doula as part of your birth team (although I highly recommend you do 😉), asking this question can help gauge how the care provider views birth support. It can also help you gauge how open minded they are when it comes to you trying natural coping techniques in late pregnancy and during your birth experience.
I hope these questions help guide you in conversation as you choose a care provider that will journey with you through your birth experience. If you are in the Saskatoon area and needing a recommendation for a physician, let me know and I would be happy to share. 💕