Ask!


Questions to ask your provider about labor and delivery:
- Who provides backup service for you? 
- If I make certain agreements with you, will your backup/partner respect them?
- For what percentage of births do you do cesarean sections?
- How do you feel about un-medicated childbirth? 
- What percentage of your clients use no drugs at all?
- How many weeks after my estimated due date do you suggest induction?
- If my water breaks before labor begins, how long would you wait for labor to begin on its own before inducing?
- What is your policy about:
     - eating and drinking during labor?
     - IVs during labor?
     - continuous electronic fetal monitoring during labor?
- Do you ever suggest an epidural? Why?
- Does the facility have showers and baths in each room? Can I use them?
- Can I be out of bed throughout my entire labor, or will I be confined to bed at a certain point?
- In what percentage of cases do you use Pitocin to speed up labor?
- Do you routinely give Pitocin postpartum? Can I refuse it?
- What is your policy about birthing my baby in any position I choose?
- What percentage of the time do you do episiotomies?
- In what percentage of births do you use  vacuum extraction?   Forceps?
- Will you be with me throughout my labor or arrive to catch the baby?
- How do you feel about labor support? doulas?


Questions to ask your provider about postpartum care:

- If my baby appears to be healthy, can I postpone standard newborn procedures in order to hold and breastfeed right away?
- Is there routine newborn suctioning? Why?
- Do you separate mother and baby after birth? For how long? Why?
- What is the policy about my husband staying with me overnight?
- How long do I have to (or how long can I) stay in the hospital after birth?
- How do you feel about breastfeeding? 
- Is there breastfeeding support / lactation consultants available in the hospital?



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