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Questions for Your Obstetrician / Midwife

Select an Obstetrician / Midwife That Shares Your Philosophy

The choice between an obstetrician and a certified nurse midwife can be an extremely personal decision, and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth is prepared to support you whichever you choose. The important thing is that you feel your physician or midwife is a good fit with your personality and philosophy about childbirth.

You also have the responsibility to learn and question as much as possible about labor and delivery through classes, your physician or midwife, and research in order to make informed choices concerning your birth experience.

Questions To Ask Your OB Doctor or Midwife

Here are some commonly asked questions you may want to raise with your obstetrician or midwife before you go into labor:

  1. What will happen if I go to the hospital thinking I am in labor and it turns out to be a "false alarm"?
  2. I am in active labor:
    • When do I call?
    • Whom do I call?
    • Where do I call?
    • If you are not available for my delivery, what are the names of other physicians/midwives in your call group? Will I have a chance to meet them at a prenatal appointment, or only when I am at the hospital?
  3. Once I am admitted:
    • After the routine fetal monitoring, will I have to be continuously monitored or can I be monitored intermittently?
    • If I choose to have medication but do not want an epidural, what available medications do you recommend?
  4. What is your opinion about:
    • Activities or positions during labor such as walking, showering, bathing, rocking or lying on my side?
    • Artificial rupture of membranes?
    • The use of Pitocin?
    • Positions for pushing and delivery including alternative birth positions like squatting?
    • Length of pushing stage?
    • Episiotomies, perineal massage or hot compress?
    • The use of a vacuum or forceps for delivery?
  5. I had a Cesarean section in the past. Will I be able to deliver vaginally this time?