icon-arrow-down icon icon-arrow-fill-down icon icon-arrow-next icon icon-arrow-prev icon icon-tag-close icon
Questions to ask Your Prenatal Provider
Do you ever wonder what questions you should be asking at your prenatal visits? Here are a number of topics commonly addressed during prenatal visits or that can be asked during a hospital tour. I don’t recommend bombarding your practitioner with a huge list of questions at once. Rather, refer to this list over the course of your pregnancy to ensure that your prenatal visits are covering the topics that are important to you.

Pregnancy
  • What tests are planned for your pregnancy and when should these happen?

  • What are the dietary guidelines for your pregnancy? What supplements should you take? What is the appropriate amount of weight gain advised?

  • How much and what kinds of exercise are recommended?

  • Are you at higher risk of preterm labor?

  • Is perineal massage or Kegel exercises advised during the last trimester?

  • Are there recommended classes for childbirth preparation, breast-feeding, and newborn care? Are certain pediatricians recommended?

  • When should you begin maternity leave?

Labor
  • What’s the protocol for informing the practice when you are in early labor? For what indications does your doctor or midwife want to be called? If your doctor or midwife is unavailable, who will be caring for you during labor? Who will be likely to attend your delivery?

  • Will testing for Group B Strep be done during your pregnancy? Is Group B Strep standardly treated in early labor?

  • Is fetal monitoring used in an intermittent or continuous fashion? Can you move around during labor? What positions can you try during labor? Is there an option to labor in warm water (shower or tub)?

  • Does your health care provider use any techniques to lower your chances for having an episiotomy?

  • How many people can join you in the labor room? What about if a cesarean section is required – who can stay with you?

  • How much time is your doctor likely to spend with you during labor? What’s the staffing ratio of nurses to patients during active labor? Should you hire a doula or labor coach?

  • What medications are available for pain relief during labor? If you choose an epidural, how long should you expect to wait after your decision until it will be administered? Is there an anesthesiologist in labor and delivery?

  • Can you tour hospital? Does hospital have a sibling class? Does hospital have a neonatal intensive care unit?

Delivery
  • Who should you expect to be present in the delivery room? Will there be student doctors or nurses present?

  • Can you photograph or film your delivery?

  • Can your husband or partner cut the umbilical cord?

  • How soon can you breastfeed? What about after a cesarean section?

Post-partum
  • Does your hospital allow rooming in? Will your partner be able to stay with you? How long is a typical hospital stay with a vaginal delivery or with a cesarean section?

  • Is there strong hospital support for breast feeding? Is a lactation consultant available in hospital?

  • Will your pediatrician see you in hospital? Should you have a car seat available for the time of discharge?

  • What vitamins and supplements are advised following the delivery?