The Ultimate List of Questions to Ask Your Prospective OB-GYN/Midwife

Who you choose as your care provider during your pregnancy is one of the single most important decisions you will make as you seek to have a positive birth experience.

Check out our ultimate list of questions to ask your prospective OB-GYN or Midwife below.

Use it as a guide, and then formulate your own questions based on what your goals and priorities are! When you hire a doctor/midwife, they become part of your healthcare TEAM... which means you deserve to have a voice in the conversation, mama! Speak up for your desires, and don't be afraid to ask the tough questions! (It's good mama bear practice for advocating your kiddos later in life!)

Questions to ask your Midwife (Home birth and Birth Center):

  • Tell me about your midwifery education. Why did you choose this field?
  • Are there any other midwives in your practice?
  • How many clients do you take per month?
  • What are your standard protocols during pregnancy? (Prenatal testing, ultrasounds, etc.)
  • What are your protocols on delivery outside of the typical 38-42 week timeline? At what point would I need to transfer to a hospital?
  • Do you do VBAC, breech, or twin deliveries?
  • If baby is breech, what are my options?
  • What are your standard protocols during labor? (Monitoring, if you are GBS positive, when to arrive, etc.)
  • Are you experienced in Neonatal Resuscitation? What equipment do you keep with you for this?
  • Do you work with assistants/backups? Who will attend my birth (especially in the event of client overlap)?
  • Do you have any policies that limit the number of people who could be with me during labor and birth?
  • What is your policy on having a doula and/or birth photographer with me during labor/delivery?
  • What is your C-Section/transfer rate? What reasons call for a transfer (both during labor, and postpartum for mom or baby)?
  • Do you have any systems/relationships set in place in the event of a transfer? Do you work with a physician backup?
  • Do you ever collaborate with a local OB for co-care?
  • What pain relief options are available to me in an out-of-hospital birth setting?
  • Are you comfortable with a variety of labor and delivery positions?
  • How do you handle common complications? (Postpartum Hemorrhage, Shoulder Dystocia, Nuchal Cord, Etc.)
  • What percentage of your first time moms do not tear or have minor tears?
  • What do you do to support the perineum to prevent tearing?
  • How do you feel about delayed "optimal" cord clamping?
  • What are your standard newborn procedures?
  • How do I get a hold of you if I need you? At what point should I call you if I think I'm in labor?
  • What breastfeeding/lactation support resources are available?
  • How long are you with me/do I stay at the birth center after delivery?
  • What follow-up care and support would you provide after I go home?

Questions to ask your OB/GYN or Hospital Midwife:

  • Tell me about your midwifery/medical education. Why did you choose this field?
  • What are your standard protocols during pregnancy? (Prenatal testing, ultrasounds, etc.)
  • If during the pregnancy I develop gestational diabetes, hypertension, pre-eclampsia, or am GBS positive, what are your standard treatment protocols? Are you open to alternative therapies if desired by the patient?
  • How do you feel about VBAC, vaginal breech birth, vaginal twin birth (if applicable)?
  • If my baby is breech, what are my options?
  • What is your philosophy on non-medically indicated induction?
  • At what point past the due date do you typically recommend induction? Are you comfortable allowing patients to go to 42 weeks or beyond?
  • Should my water break to initiate labor, how do you feel about allowing labor to progress naturally? Are you comfortable with me laboring at home after my water has broken?
  • Should labor be long after water breaking, what are your recommendations to avoid induction/Cesarean?
  • What are your standard protocols during labor? (Monitoring, if you are GBS positive, when to arrive, etc.)
  • How do you feel about intermittent vs. continuous fetal monitoring? What are the hospital's/ your typical practices?
  • Are you comfortable with me requesting a Hep-lock IV?
  • What is the policy on bringing food into the hospital and eating/drinking during labor?
  • Are you comfortable with me laboring in my own clothes versus a hospital gown if I would prefer?
  • Do you have any policies that limit the number of people who could be with me during labor and birth?
  • What is your policy on having a doula and/or birth photographer with me during labor/delivery?
  • What will your response be if I choose to refuse any standard procedures?
  • How do you feel about patients laboring in different positions?
  • How do you feel about patients pushing/delivering in different positions and with/without coaching?
  • What is your rate of assisted deliveries (vacuum or forceps)? In what event do you use these?
  • What is your philosophy on episiotomies and your episiotomy rate? In what event would you perform one, and will you allow informed consent?
  • What percentage of your first time moms do not tear or have minor tears?
  • What do you do to support the perineum to prevent tearing?
  • How do you feel about delayed "optimal" cord clamping?
  • How do you feel about my preferred method of childbirth education?
  • Do you/does the hospital encourage immediate skin-to-skin? 
  • What are standard newborn procedures? 
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Questions to ask when considering a cesarean:

  • What is the benefit of a Cesarean for me/baby?
  • What complications/problems might arise if I continue my plan for a vaginal birth?
  • How likely are those complications/problems if I plan for vaginal birth?
  • Could these complications/problems still happen if I have a Cesarean?
  • What are the possible risks of a Cesarean? How likely are these risks?
  • Are there alternative options you can offer me that can help me avoid a Cesarean?

Questions to ask in the possible event of a Cesarean:

  • In the event of a Cesarean, is skin-to-skin in the OR an option?
  • Do you/does your hospital support family-centered Cesareans?
  • Is it possible to use a clear drape or drop the drape temporarily so I can see my baby being born?
  • Who is allowed in the OR with me? Is it possible to have a doula and/or birth photographer in addition to my main support person?
  • What anesthesia method is typically used during a Cesarean? In what cases does that change?
  • Do you close with sutures or staples? Is double stitching an option?
  • Is delayed cord clamping or cord milking an option?

Want a FREE printable version of this list to take with you to meet with your care provider? (With BONUS content on ensuring informed consent!)

Click the link below!