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10 Questions to Ask Your Obstetrician

So, you are growing a beautiful human being inside your belly and have made the decision to hire a private Obstetrician to be your main care provider through your pregnancy, birth and postpartum journey. The decision of who you hire for this job can impact your entire experience so careful thought should be put into making sure the Obstetrician you choose shares the same values around pregnancy and birth and makes you feel comfortable and safe in their care. If you are choosing to complete the Australian Hypnobirthing course and can’t think of anything more empowering than birthing your baby positively and calmly with confidence, then it is so important that your care provider will encourage you to achieve your desired birth too – even better if they have experience supporting Hypnobirthing mothers and their partners.

Here is a list of 10 questions that you can ask potential OB’s in order to get extensive information to make an informed choice about your care provider. Don’t ever feel that you need to hire the first OB you see, as you want the best fit for the position and this person is hired solely by you to respect and support your goals through your journey into motherhood.

Click on a heading to discover the answer:

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1. What do you know about Hypnobirthing and do you support Hypnobirthing women?

This is a great first question to get a great idea of how much your OB knows about Hypnobirthing and how they would support you during your labour and birth.

2. What is your philosophy on induction and when do you think a woman should be induced?

Asking this question gives you a great understanding of whether you and your Obstetrician share the same feelings surrounding induction. If you have visualised the uninterrupted birth process and your Obstetrician has guidelines around early induction then you may need to find a more suitable care provider that aligns with your vision.

3. What are your main reasons you would recommend an episiotomy?

It is great to understand whether the Obstetrician routinely performs an episiotomy due to the belief that this may prevent perineal tearing or to allow for an instrumental birth.

4. What are the main reasons you would recommend an elective caesarean section for your client?

It is important to understand what the Obstetrician constitutes as an indicator for a caesarean.

5. What is your caesarean rate?

This will give you statistical information for you to analyse against the current NSW caesarean rate of 34% as of 2022.

6. Do you support women wanting to have a water birth?

Not all Obstetricians will support a water birth and not all hospitals have baths available to be used during labour and birth.

7. What are your thoughts around pain relief during labour and birth?

It is important to decide how you feel about pain relief during your labour and birth and choose an Obstetrician who is supportive of this decision. If you are wanting a physiological vaginal birth, then you do not want your care provider suggesting different pain relief options throughout your labour unnecessarily.

8. What fetal monitoring do you have available for your clients? Do you have a preference on what is used?

If you visualise being active during labour and using the Hypnobirthing toolkit of strategies whilst you sway, rock or bounce on a fit ball then it is great to discuss whether the Obstetrician has any specific preferences on the type of monitoring used as some fetal monitors can require you to lay on a bed the entire time you are labouring and birthing. This can then obstruct these natural labour movements and also prevent you from using natural pain relief options such as the bath or shower.

9. Will you support an ideal physical birth environment for my labour and birth?

If you are visualising specific things in your Hypnobirth environment such as a diffuser with aromatherapy of your choice, electric candles, fairy lights, a dark room, the door of the birth suite closed at all times, minimal medical equipment and personnel and calm and relaxing music then it is important to discuss these with your Obstetrician to make sure they are supportive of this calm birthing environment and that the hospital has no guidelines preventing the use of these being utilised.

10. How do you feel about Doulas being a part of the birth support team?

If you are considering hiring a doula, it is important that your care provider is supportive of this decision as it is crucial that your birth support team are working together and never against each other.