Meeting your OB for the first time is like dating. Maybe you heard about them through a friend’s recommendation, or maybe you found them on the internet - but the first time you meet face-to-face, you’re going to have a lot of questions.
OBs might be experts at birth, but they aren’t an expert in YOU. So don’t feel dumb asking questions and take this time to clarify before you commit. You are the boss of this whole process, and if at any time, you have a red flag moment about anything your OB says, you can always switch care providers.
While you should also ask about things that matter to you and your family, I’ve compiled this list of must-ask questions for your first OB prenatal appointment. Take note, birthing people!
1. What’s your philosophy about birth?
This is a great question to get the conversation started and see where their values are. If you have something in common, it can open up the gates to a great conversation! If they are turned off by you asking a question like that, you might get a sense of how they’ll respond to your other requests when it comes to baby time.
2. What Is Your Induction Rate & When Do You Think An Induction Should Be Considered? AND What is your C-Section Rate & When Do You Think A C-Section Should be Considered?
These numbers talk. Compare them to your regional average. If they are higher than average, ask why. Sometimes c-sections and inductions are totally called for, and that’s great, but when a doctor has really high numbers for their area, it could denote their attitudes about letting a patient deliver vaginally after a certain period of time, as well as their attitudes about intervening for expediency's sake rather than for medical necessity. If having a vaginal delivery is important to you and your OB doesn’t seem to be bothered by their high numbers, take this as a red flag moment.
3. Are you able to support vaginal breech births? What would you do if this were the case?
Vaginal breech deliveries require specific training that not all OBs have, or if they do, they might not feel comfortable. Breech presentation is a major cause of unplanned c-sections, but many breech babies are safely born vaginally. If you feel strongly about having a non-surgical birth, it’s important to ask this question to see how your OB would support you if this situation were to come up.
4. Which hospitals do you attend and who is your backup?
Finding out where you are going to give birth is super important in helping you envision your birth experience. Do they only deliver at a hospital super far away from you or a hospital that doesn’t allow for water births?
Another key point here is to find out who else at the hospital covers for your OB when they aren’t available. If knowing who is going to deliver your baby is important to you, you might feel more comfortable getting a chance to meet with everyone who could potentially be on your birth team.
5. How much is this going to cost me?
If you have OHIP and are living in Ontario, this question might not be as relevant. However, if there are extra costs for birthing suites at your OB’s hospital, it's important to find these things out early so you can plan ahead.
If you live in Ontario and don’t have insurance, it’s important to note that most insurance companies won’t cover an existing pregnancy in Ontario. Costs include the actual delivery, physician’s fees, prenatal testing, and care & treatment of your newborn. Your OB will be able to point you in the right direction to figure out the total costs if your insurance won’t be covering it.
As a full-spectrum doula service, Birth Boss can accompany you to your appointments or help you prepare for them in advance. Book your consultation today.