Choosing your pregnancy and child birth care provider

When you find out that you are pregnant, and you get those two amazing pink lines pop up on your pregnant test, no doubt your head will be swirling with questions. Two of the first things that might come to mind might be where and who will deliver my baby?

Many expectant Mothers have no idea of the amount and variety of options available to them for their care and the delivery of their precious child. Most just assume that they are to head down the common route of their local hospital. That’s not to say that this isn’t the best option for you, but it is very important to make sure that you are aware of your choices and make an educated decision. Pregnancy care and childbirth is a life changing journey.

From private midwives, private obstetricians, public hospitals, hospitals lead programs, shared care, home birth, there is an option to suit every woman, baby and family. To find out more about the kind of care available where you live, I recommend starting off by checking out your local government led health website like health.gov.au. From there you will be able to see the different types of care available, and can begin to research options for your chosen care model in your local area.

Once you have decided who you think might be your care provider for your pregnancy, it’s a good idea to have an initial meeting with them to discuss the possibility of providing care to you. This will be your biggest indication as to whether you feel comfortable with this particular person or not. It’s a good opportunity to ask them any questions that you may have and to make sure that you are all on the same page.

I have put together below a list of potential questions that you may wish to ask in your initial netting. Some of them may seem over the top, some of them might not apply to you, use the ones that you think are suitable to your situation. These questions are here to provoke your own thoughts and you may have others you wish to include. It’s best to discuss everything you can from the initial meeting so that no issues arrive later during your care.

  • How long have you been in practice?
  • How many babies have you delivered? Or how many babies do you deliver per week?
  • Where did you receive your training?
  • What is your general philosophy concerning pregnancy and childbirth?
  • What are your fees?
  • Are you open to me hiring a doula?
  • Are you open to me hiring a birth photographer or videographer?
  • What is the confirmed due date of my baby?
  • How often do I need to see you during my pregnancy?
  • At what points during my pregnancy will I have scans?
  • Who gives me my referrals for my scans?
  • What other tests will I have? (Eg glucose test, blood tests?)
  • Do you have tips for managing morning sickness if I experience it?
  • What lifestyle changes do I need to make during pregnancy?
  • Do you recommend I take any pregnancy supplements?
  • Can I continue to take my current medications and supplements?
  • Can I drink alcohol while I am pregnant?
  • Are there any foods I need to limit or stop eating?
  • Do you liaise with my general practitioner to keep them updated on my pregnancy, or do I do this?
  • How do you manage corresponding with other people dealing with my care? Is there a book for something that I keep for everyone’s notes?
  • Do you offer antenatal classes?
  • If not is there anyone you recommend for antenatal classes?
  • Do you recommend I see an alternate health Practitioners throughout the pregnancy? (Eg Naturopath, physio, osteopath, massage, chiropractor.)
  • Should I write a birth plan? What is your preferred format? When should I write my birth plan? Will you assist me in writing it?
  • Is there a specific weight that you recommend I put on during pregnancy?
  • When will we be discussing the any current health issues I have that may relate to the pregnancy?
  • When will we discuss previous births (if any)?
  • What exercise do you recommend?
  • Can I have a home birth?
  • Can I have a water birth? (It is important to gauge how receptive your potential caregiver is of your wishes.)
  • When do you recommend I should I stop working?
  • Is it safe for me to travel overseas? Up until when in my pregnancy?
  • Will you personally be there for the birth?
  • If you are not be at the birth who will be?
  • How do I know when to come into hospital?
  • How long will I be in hospital after the birth?
  • Do I have choices regarding how long I stay in hospital?
  • How many people can be in the delivery room with me?
  • How many people can visit the hospital after the baby is born?
  • What birth tools will be available to me? (For example birth balls, tens machine, hot water bottles.)
  • What will you do if my labour slows?
  • Will you always remain open to my wishes?
  • What methods of pain relief do you use or recommend during labour? Will we go over them before the birth?
  • What if there are complications during labour?
  • In what situations would you recommend a caesarean section?
  • At what point would you recommend inducing labour?
  • Do you use forceps or vacuum-assisted delivery (ventouse)?
  • At what point would you do an episiotomy? Do I have to have an episiotomy?
  • What vaccinations are offered for the baby after birth? And when will we discuss these?
  • Are there any vaccinations you recommend myself and my family have during the pregnancy?
  • Will you allow an active labour where I can feel free to move around the room and be in positions of my choice?
  • Will I have any hospital appointments and when will these occur?
  • What things can I do to manage my pain at home before heading to hospital?
  • What do you recommend a pack in my birthing bag?
  • When will we talk about my options for delivering the placenta?
  • What support and care is available to meet after the birth of my baby once I go home?

It is my hope that this information provides you with a starting point to discuss your pregnancy and childbirth journey. Remember that there are options available to you so never feel pigeonholed into the first one that you come across.

Best of wishes and lots of love!

Disclaimer – As always please remember that I am not a midwife, general practitioner, lactation consult, nutritionist, doctor or any other medical expert. I am just a Mother expressing her journey and opinions. This article visit and to help promote your own thoughts and opinions to come to your own conclusions.