At the OBGYN practice where I’m getting my prenatal care, there is a major team dynamic. Several doctors intermingle and treat/deliver prenatal care alongside two nurse midwifes. When you become a prenatal patient you are rotated through a monthly scheduling device of meeting every doctor at least once, as well as each midwife. For someone with anxiety, I loved this plan–I would at least have a fifteen minute experience with each of these humans who may be on call when baby Virginia is born!
Being a first time pregnancy, I have been constantly writing down questions about natural childbirth or topics that I wanted to discuss with my medical caregivers. However, almost all of them seemed like questions I really wanted to wait to ask the midwife, who I assumed would give us a straight forward answer.
So armed with my two pages (literally) of questions and topics I was curious about, Matt and I went for our appointment with THE midwife that literally everyone who goes to the practice adores. Even my friends that were not interested in natural birth said they wanted her to deliver their babies. I felt like I’d waited the entire MD rotation for this moment.
I’m an anxious planner, and I figured having a lot of these questions that floated through my head early on answered would be ideal. That way, if I knew I really wanted a water birth but it wasn’t possible–I could adapt my way of thinking over the next few months instead of having major anxiety surrounding it the day of.
So the midwife came in, I told her I had a ton of questions, and she sat with us for almost an hour making sure that we had every single answer. She was amazing. I literally am thinking of naming our second baby after her, because she is THAT cool. She also told us everything terribly honestly, which is what we wanted. She didn’t tell us what we “wanted” to hear–she told us her truth.
Here’s the list:What does a “typical” natural labor and birth look like in this hospital?
- I want to be able to freely walk. Can I walk around while laboring/transition?
- What advice do you have for making sure that things go smoothly with labor and delivery staff? We don’t want to feel like we are stepping on anyone’s toes going a different route than most, but we also really don’t want to feel like we are fighting an uphill battle.
- If I come into the hospital and it is not you or the other midwife–do I still have a shot at a natural childbirth? Basically, are the MDs in the practice on board or familiar with natural births? (Spoiler alert: She said ABSOLUTELY!)
- If I don’t want to be “checked” during my last month of prenatal appointments–can I opt out? What about during labor? (During prenatal yes–until postdating is a concern, and during labor she said they really require one for admittance into L&D, but other than that I can basically go with the flow!)
- When is being past my “due date” a concern for the practice. When are inductions a part of the conversation?
- What are some of the more natural routes of induction that I could research?
- Birthing tubs/birthing suites: does this hospital have them?
- The first hour post birth…what is done to babe? What can we save for later in the day, and what is absolutely necessary right away?
- Premature Rupture of Membranes…
- Can I eat and drink during labor?
- If I don’t want an IV started, can I opt for a Hep-Lock instead?
- Breech positioning: If she is breech, what can you/the medical staff do ahead of time? Do you have chiropractors you would recommend, or can you turn the baby?
- Can we delay cord clamping?
- What is a glucose test, and why do I have to have one? (I really tried to pull every single reason I had found to get myself out of this hellish ordeal, but she said it really DOES give good information…so I have that to look forward to next week!)
- Is laboring at home our best chance for a natural childbirth?
- When we come to the hospital, are we on the “clock” for a specific number of hours to labor and deliver?
- Should I get a flu shot? As a teacher I’m really concerned about the flu and pneumonia!
- The baby will be born during flu season, should we plan on telling friends/family NOT to visit the hospital?
- Can we immediately go chest to chest for kangaroo care after delivery?
- Can Dad be a part of kangaroo care as well?
- What is this hospital’s C-Section rate?
- Pitocin post delivery, what’s that about?
- How necessary would you say that a Doula is for a natural birth?
- Is there anything that I could be doing now, supplements to take, books to read, that we could better prepare ourselves for this? (We are already enrolled in Bradley!)