Wondering how to ask an OB/GYN about the process for your pregnancy? Here are some fundamental questions that will help you get answers you need to anticipate what's going to happen, from your first consultation to the final delivery.
Is This A High-Risk Pregnancy?
Numbers from the National Institutes of Health show that many women are identified with high-risk pregnancies each year; for example, 6-8% for hypertension and 2-10% for gestational diabetes. Obstetrics doctors need to let clients know from the very beginning whether they have any high-risk characteristics that will place them in this protected pregnancy status. Doctors do certain things for high-risk pregnancies, including more tests and more safeguards for the birthing process.
How Many Ultrasound Appointments Will I Get?
It's a good idea to know about the pregnancy monitoring process, for example, how many times the doctor will do an ultrasound to see what the baby is doing inside. This resource from BabyCenter shows that many women get between 2 and 4 ultrasounds during a pregnancy, but this is a rough number and doctors may do more depending on what they see in initial tests.
When Do I Need to Give the Hospital the Birth Plan, and in What Format?
The birth plan is extremely important for expectant mothers. It documents what they need to feel supported in their pregnancy and delivery. Ask the OB/GYN when the hospital needs to have this plan in hand, and what format will be the most useful for labor and delivery nurses and other medical professionals who will be involved in the process.
Who's My Backup Doctor?
Many of those women going into consultation about pregnancy start to feel comfortable with their regular obstetrics doctor, and they don't really want anyone else to attend the pregnancy in his or her place. However, doctors are human too, and during weekends, holidays and other times, that preferred doctor may not be available.
Yes, the "backup doctor" situation happens in many of your pregnancies. Just like Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up, a significant number of new mothers spend the hours before delivery begging for their good old trusted obstetrics doctor to arrive. Having a backup plan will help you feel safer and more confident that you can accomplish the delivery with or without your regular OB/GYN.
Can I Take a Tour of the Labor Facility?
You can ask all kinds of questions about a labor and delivery department, but the best way to get all of those questions answered at once is to take a short tour and really get a feel for how things operate inside a labor ward. You'll see how the rooms look, how medical staff interact, and what your general environment will be when you go in to actually give birth.
Expectant mothers can benefit from using all of these stock questions when talking to their obstetrician, such as Women's Healthcare Associates LLC, in the initial hours of consultation.