One of the things I have learned in my experiences birthing (and I’ve had them all), is that the support you choose is extremely important. Hiring an OB because everyone at church uses him or picking a midwife just because she is a midwife, is simply not good enough.
A woman should evaluate her personality, pregnancy and needs. She may need a huge support group of midwives, doulas, her spouse and family. Maybe she just wants her midwife and spouse. Having a supportive OB might be her best option. For me, I learned I need to have no one present except my husband. I need to be able to do whatever feels comfortable to me with no interference from anyone.
If you choose to have an OB or midwife, make sure you pick one that is absolutely on board with your feelings and thoughts on birth. If your care provider is not in agreement with you, this WILL effect your pregnancy and birth. If they have fears that are going to be brought into your birth, those fears (even though they are not yours), WILL effect your labor and birth.
Finding the Right Care Provider for You
Have a list of things that are important to you. Pay attention to HOW the OB/midwife answers you. If you hear things such as, “Oh, we’ll see…” or “We’ll give you a trial of labor” or “This is how we do things”, those are red flags.
Here is a list of six great questions to get you started. Word them as if you want to know how they feel and take notes:
1.) “How do you feel about natural birth and a birth plan?” Pay attention to how they answer this one. How they truly feel about birth can be revealed in their answer.
2.) “I am curious as to what your transfer rate is” (for a midwife) or “what your c-section rate is” (for an OB). Don’t let them deflect answering this question!
3.) “In what situations do you feel an induction would be necessary?” Remember that being post due date, your midwife going on vacation, and a big baby are not a good reasons to induce.
5.) “Are you comfortable in supporting me in how I choose to birth?”
6.) If you are a VBAC mama, you may want to ask first if they even support that. If not, move on. If yes, then ask questions and see how much they trust your body’s capability of VBACing.
If you see any red flags or if something doesn’t settle well with you, walk away. Even if you have already hired your care provider, it is never too late to release them as your support and hire someone else. I have known women who have done this even up to 39 weeks and were very happy they did. I also know women who did not listen to their gut and regretted staying with that care provider. Always listen to your instincts. Always!
You are preparing for YOUR birth. The OB or midwife you choose does not have to live with the outcome of your birth experience. You do! This is YOUR body, YOUR pregnancy, YOUR birth, YOUR baby. Take responsibility for educating yourself, letting go of fears and gaining faith and being strong in how you choose to birth!