Question's you wished you would have asked BEFORE birth - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 59 Old 10-12-2006, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Since we're talking PSA's (over in the research thread), I think THE most important thing any woman can do is ask questions of her care provider, ideally before care is initiated, but at the latest before birth.

What are some questions you wished you would have asked your care provider BEFORE birth? (Or questions you are glad you asked?)

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#2 of 59 Old 10-12-2006, 12:04 PM
 
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Ooo, a spin off! I'm definitely subscribing to this one and taking notes!
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#3 of 59 Old 10-12-2006, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I count my intact perineum as one of the best gifts I've ever given myself. (I need that on a T-shirt) One of the reasons my perineum has never torn or been cut is because I asked, "What to do you to ensure perineum integrity?" Or maybe I just said, "I don't want to tear and I don't want to be cut. What are you going to do about that?"

The answer I got was what I wanted -
- No episiotomies
- Warm Compresses
- Perenial support
- No forced pushing
- No "Purple Pushing" (pushing till your face turns purple)
- Woman led positioning
- Perenial massage instruction given to partner
- Time and space to feel comfortable with my birth process

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#4 of 59 Old 10-12-2006, 12:11 PM
 
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"How will my labor be effected by this pitocin?"

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#5 of 59 Old 10-12-2006, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, Marie, that's such a good one. Talk about a slippery slope!

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#6 of 59 Old 10-12-2006, 01:10 PM
 
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What are the dangers of having my water broke?

Will induction and pit effect my ability to tolerate natural labor?

Will I decide when it is time to push? (with ds1 they would not let me; dd1 I could not feel anything as the ODed me with the epi)

Is there a chance I could die if I get an epidural? (Almost did with ds1 and dd1)

Is there a way to avoid epes and if I do get one, how long until it is healed? (I went around for nearlt 12 wekks with popped open stitches with ds1)

Do you have to push painfully on my tummy after birth?

Does the baby need the vit K shot?

Why does the baby need to be under the warmer and what are the alternatives?

When should I offer the breast to my new arrival?

Can we do all exams on my chest in the first two hours or so?

What women are good canidates for hospital births and how should birth at home?

What positions are best during different stages og labor?

I will not be expected to lay on my back, right?

I will not be expected to be hooked up to monitors, right?

This is off the top of my head.

This is also why #4 will be arriving at home in 3 weeks. I have educated myself and now can answer these and many more questions myself. I will no longer cave based oin false trust or lack of knowledge. :

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#7 of 59 Old 10-12-2006, 01:11 PM
 
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Wow...this thread stirred alot of emotions for me.

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#8 of 59 Old 10-12-2006, 01:12 PM
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In what instance would you consider me to need a c-section and why? (I wish I had asked this before they induced me, I had no idea it could end in section, but then I was really uneducated at the time)

If I refuse a section what action would you take? (brought to mind by recent threads, not personal experience)
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#9 of 59 Old 10-12-2006, 01:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spark View Post
Since we're talking PSA's (over in the research thread), I think THE most important thing any woman can do is ask questions of her care provider, ideally before care is initiated, but at the latest before birth.

What are some questions you wished you would have asked your care provider BEFORE birth? (Or questions you are glad you asked?)
Since I have had all female OBs, two with children, I have always asked them if they took the AFP test with their pregnancies, and if not, why? None of my OBs did the AFP test and said that they felt that it had too much of a margin error either way and would just give people stress or a false sense of security.

Because I had csections, even though I will have repeats, I always ask what their csection rate is, do they support natural childbirth, and do they do VBACs. I would not go to an OB who did not support natural childbirth or VBAC. I am just more or less curious about their csection rate. another thing I ask is in their surgical experience how do they do the closures on their cesarean deliveries and hysterectomies? All of them have said they do staples the majority of the time, two of them have said though that if it was them having a surgical birth they would have sutures. I asked my latest OB if she used "super glue" to close on her csections and I was told absolutely not, and she doubted she ever would.

I always ask if I can refuse care from one of my OBs partners, even if they are the one on call.

I always discuss issues surrounding premature birth since this is something I am at risk for (knock on wood it has never happened). My husband and I do not want extraordinary measures taken before 27 weeks gestation, and we would like that respected. My last two OBs have agreed to this, as has my pediatrician should we ever have to face this dilema.
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#10 of 59 Old 10-12-2006, 03:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
Why does the baby need to be under the warmer and what are the alternatives?
In case no one gets a straight answer from their doctor on this, I wanted to comment on this question. First, this really should be discussed with the hospital staff BEFORE you give birth. Find out what their policies are. For example: Cesearean section babies often lose body temperature more rapidly than vaginally birthed babies and have a harder time maintaining their temperature. If they are bathed after birth, there is usually a mandatory time of staying in the warmer. (about an hour) One of the things I have done with my last two cesarean births was to talk to the nursery staff and my own nurse in L&D about avoiding the baby warmer. What they usually do is when I get in recovery, is that they place the baby on my chest and then place 2-3 heated blankets on top of me and the baby. They can also heat up the hospital baby blankets that you can wrap your baby in as well. Katie had a hard time maintaining her temp and this is what we did, as well as avoid bathing and passing her around to various family members. My baby's nurse was happy to do all her assessments and tests (we have ABO incompatibility) all right there on my chest under our heated blankets.
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#11 of 59 Old 10-12-2006, 05:56 PM
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Will these pain meds affect my ability to breastfeed?

I just learned YESTERDAY, months after my second failed attempt at breastfeeding that fentanyl is linked to early discontinuance of breastfeeding and low supply. I had chalked it up to defective boobies. Homebirth next time!
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#12 of 59 Old 10-12-2006, 06:00 PM
 
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My first question next time:

What is your policy for breech presentation?

Mama to two beautiful sons Wife to DH
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#13 of 59 Old 10-12-2006, 07:26 PM
 
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I don't know... I thought I knew an awful lot back then... and I even asked some questions... like why episiotomies? I was answered by the people who thought they were better than tearing. Somewhere deep inside I think I knew that if unmedicated childbirth was better because a woman's body is capable, I could assume the same about the integrity of my perfectly fashioned, God given vagina! However, the people I trusted spoke louder to me then than my own deep thought process.

I would also ask the question about the baby warmer... and about the AROM. Heck, if I was gonna do it again, I really think I'd be talking to home birth midwives... not CNM's this time.

So there!
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#14 of 59 Old 10-14-2006, 08:22 AM
 
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Will you allow delayed cord clamping if that is my wish?

Will your care for me change if I refuse "routine" prenatal tests? (I'm thinking of u/s, gestational diabetes, group beta strep, triple screen etc..)
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#15 of 59 Old 10-14-2006, 11:19 PM
 
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bump
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#16 of 59 Old 10-14-2006, 11:36 PM
 
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I shoulda asked what drugs I got AFTER birth. They gave me a shot of morphine after having my 1st and I was out for 2 days! I feel like I missed out on the first few days of bonding.
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#17 of 59 Old 10-15-2006, 09:42 PM
 
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I asked all the questions I should have asked before the birth. at about 35 weeks or so. But it was too late. I should have asked those questions when I first stepped into my OB's office. Then I would have gone elsewhere.

The questions I asked were

Can I eat in labor?
Answer- You're probably not going to feel like it. Though you can have small snacks if you want.

Do I have to have an IV?
Answer- Yes.

Can I get up an move around during labor?
Answer- Yes

I want to go into labor on my own without induction
Answer- Pitocin's not that bad. Women just think that its worse than it is because they're already in the hospital. Besides, you're already dilating and effacing so all I'll have to do is break your water.
(I passed on the induction)

Who will be there at the birth if you can't make it?
(I forgot to ask that one, would have been good to know)

If mom and baby are fine would it be okay if I got off the monitor after the initial monitoring?
Answer-Yes

I don't want an episiotomy.
Answer- (Frowning) I don't do them that often, but sometimes they're necessary.

I asked all the important questions this time at the begining of pregnancy. I interviewed four midwives before I found the one that I wanted. The first four seemed pretty nice too, I just didn't click with them as much.

Heather Mike Married 8/1/99 Mom to Charlotte Aug 04, Nov 06, and Katherine Oct 07
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#18 of 59 Old 10-15-2006, 10:26 PM
 
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Are you present during full labor? My ob was conspicuously absent for the first 2 hours I pushed, and then he left again and returned another 2 or 3 hours later. I was still pushing. Then had a c/s. Those first 2 hours, it turned out that I was not fully dilated. Oops.
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#19 of 59 Old 10-15-2006, 11:31 PM
 
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From my experience, after my last baby..

1) What is your breech presenation protocol - ie what are you going to do if I come anytime from week 37 on and my baby is breech?

2) Can I have complete access to my records, so that I can inspect and review them during my care, if I don't feel that you are being complete forth coming and open with me?

3) Can your staff schedule visits out more than 1 at a time, especially towards the end when you have to start going more than once a month?
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#20 of 59 Old 10-16-2006, 12:00 AM
 
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This thread is making me twitch as I am wondering why all the questions when some of these could be affirmations...ie) instead of "do you do delay cord clamping"..."No cord clamping/cutting until it is done pulsating", but that is just me
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#21 of 59 Old 10-16-2006, 01:00 AM
 
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I don't wish I had asked more questions, but I wish I had made more firm statements about what I wanted instead of just assuming they would do things a certain way.
Actually, I wish I had asked about the 3rd stage, because I was completely unprepared to be injected and then have the cord pulled on

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#22 of 59 Old 10-16-2006, 03:04 AM
 
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Well, basically I read "The Thinking Women's Guide" and then realized, I don't have to ASK anything, I have the right to TELL THEM what I will and will not consent to. And I had a nice vaginal hospital birth of twins (baby 2 was a feet-first breech) followed 2 years later by a nice vaginal birth center birth.

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#23 of 59 Old 10-16-2006, 03:21 AM
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This thread is making me twitch as I am wondering why all the questions when some of these could be affirmations...ie) instead of "do you do delay cord clamping"..."No cord clamping/cutting until it is done pulsating", but that is just me
I think because if you are still "shopping" it is better to find someone with the birth protocol you agree with then to go with someone who you would possibly have tension with.

I was thrilled when I asked my midwives similar questions and they gave me a copy of their birth plan.... it said basically everything I could hope for and even said it was ok to turn down the hep shot, eye goop, and vit k but that I'd have to sign a release. I have never seen even the option of refusing something on a hospital suggestion sheet before!

I had prev. asked my ob the same questions and that led me to look into the possibility of switching to midwives more agressively.
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#24 of 59 Old 10-16-2006, 04:10 AM
 
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I already knew that I wanted a homebirth with a MW, but decided to see what my regular OB/GYN had to say anyway, just for kicks. I was so depressed after this conversation that I couldn't function for the rest of the afternoon. God bless my DH who believes that chocolate souffle cures everything. It helped. Here's a transcript of the conversation that I posted on my blog:
We had our doctor's appointment today. To say that I'm disappointed would be an understatement. Here's a transcript of the questions I asked and the answers she provided.

1) At what hospitals do you practice? All of them. Which do you prefer? Acibadem or Kadikoy Sifa

2) What do you feel constitutes a natural childbirth? [She was not able to answer this question without a lot of prompting on my part. She did finally say that the woman who had an epidural, a huge episiotomy, and forceps delivery was not a natural birth.]

3) What positions do you encourage for 2nd stage (pushing)? Lithotomy only

4) Under what circumstances do you feel a surgical birth is necessary? [This is another she couldn't answer. She just kept saying that] it depends on the situation.

5) How often do you perform cesarean section? [At first she wouldn't answer, but she finally admitted to] 50%

6) What is your opinion of episiotomy? All the books say and I feel that it is necessary.

7) How often do you perform episiotomy? It is routine. All first time mothers have episiotomy, not always with second and third babies.

8) What is your opinion of breastfeeding? It is the best, of course.

9) Under what circumstances do you recommend formula feeding? I don't, that is up to the pediatrician.

10) What is the hospital's policy on:

a) oral intake during labor? It is forbidden.

b) use of pitocin? [another that she couldn't answer, kept saying that it depends on the situation]

c) upright positioning during labor and birth, i.e., walking, squatting, hands-and-knees, etc? Walking during the labor is okay but birth is in the bed.

d) breastfeeding immediately after delivery? It is okay.

e) support persons in labor/delivery? Maybe

f) immediate discharge within two hours postpartum? No.

g) rooming in with baby? Probably most of the time.

There were other questions that I would've liked an answer to that I came up with later, but obviously by this time it was a no-brainer. I haven't been back since.
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#25 of 59 Old 10-16-2006, 06:04 AM
 
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I can't even make a partial list of what I should have asked with DS, because it would be pages. I thought I knew enough. I knew NOTHING.

This time, when head Dr. at hospital said instead of homebirth I needed to be in the hospital because "we can do Continuous Fetal Monitoring" I replied, "That's EXACTLY why I won't be in the hospital!" I was prepared for the conversation. So when the Doc then started in on the risk of uterine tear after cesarean, I cut her off with, "So you are going to give me the dead baby speech?" I really felt great after the conversation.
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#26 of 59 Old 10-16-2006, 09:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cdnmom View Post
This thread is making me twitch as I am wondering why all the questions when some of these could be affirmations...ie) instead of "do you do delay cord clamping"..."No cord clamping/cutting until it is done pulsating", but that is just me
No, it's not just you. Mind you, I also get twitchy at the way most birth plans are phrased.

Actually, viewing this as a "things to ask before you select a care provider" list, what's making me twitch is all the stories about how the provider was supportive and saying all the right things until the actual time came. For instance saying "oh of course we'll wait to cut the cord" and then when the time comes they say "we had to clamp the cord immediately because of <insert BS>."
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#27 of 59 Old 10-16-2006, 11:54 AM
 
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"What will happen when I am fully dilated and it is getting close to time to push?"

No one told me that the bed would be broken down and the nurse would be bustling around the room setting stuff up.
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#28 of 59 Old 10-16-2006, 02:07 PM
 
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Oops, wrong thread.
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#29 of 59 Old 10-17-2006, 08:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by khaoskat View Post
2) Can I have complete access to my records, so that I can inspect and review them during my care, if I don't feel that you are being complete forth coming and open with me?
I honestly wouldn't ask this question. Just take your chart off the door and read it. The nurses probably won't like it (they seem to be the only people I get dirty looks from), but tough. Free access to your medical records is within your rights. If you have trouble, look up your state medical board or give them a call. They probably have a provision about this.

Better yet, get copies of everything to keep for your own. I have found that if you ask for copies at Dr's offices the same day you have an appointment, the receptionist will usually just copy them and hand it over instead of sending it to the copying co. and then charging you. If you have a decent office (and usually this only works with small offices) make friends with the front desk lady and ask her to copy and mail you any test results that come in right away.
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#30 of 59 Old 11-30-2006, 12:58 PM
 
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