While it may feel like an interview, most OB-GYNs will understand your concerns and are happy to answer questions, even ones such as, “Under what circumstances would you do a C-section?” The major point here is this: If you don’t like what you hear in terms of the big picture, it’s best to find a doctor whose principles align with yours well before you’re getting ready to deliver. This step— while perhaps awkward—eliminates most uncomfortable conversations that might have to happen down the road.
Step 2: Ask specific questions, but be gentle
There’s absolutely no problem asking your doc about anything and everything that has to do with your pregnancy and delivery. But there’s a big difference in saying, “What’s your complication rate?” and “What are the biggest complications you see? And how do you handle them, and what can I do to help prevent them?” Similar question, different tone equals better relationship with your health care provider.
Step 3: Trust, have an advocate, but be flexible
It’s perfectly OK to have a birth plan on how you envision your labor and delivery will proceed. But bottom line is that childbirth can be as unpredictable as a slot machine. What we’ve seen (anecdotally) is that the more you plan, the more likely it is that you will be forced to deviate from the plan. So we believe that instead of being forced to ask difficult questions during difficult times, the key is step one.
If you’ve picked a team that has the same philosophy as you (that includes having an advocate, such as your partner, a friend or a doula, who knows what you want), you’ll feel confident knowing that you’ve done your research and put your trust in a group of people who have the best interest of you and your baby at heart.