Interviewing a Prenatal Care Provider: 30 Questions You Need to Ask

My husband and I plan to start our family. I want a care provider I can trust and one who shares my views. What are some questions I should ask when I interview them?

Question:
ABOUT THE EXPERT

Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

It's smart to plan for your pregnancy. When looking for a care provider there are many questions you may want to ask. Following are some must-ask questions:

Pre-Conception
-- If I were to come to you for a preconception visit, what topics might we cover?
-- What role do you see my partner playing in my upcoming pregnancy?
-- Do you recommend any supplements for women trying to become pregnant?


About the Health Care Provider

-- What is your educational background?
-- Where and when are you certified to practice, and how long have you been certified?
-- Do you practice within a birthing center, at home and/or in the hospital?
-- Why did you become a midwife or doctor?
-- What is your philosophy of practice?
-- How many births have you attended?

The Practice, Hospital Privileges and Consultants
-- Do you like the setting in which you practice?
-- What does your call schedule look like?
-- Is there a good chance that I will see many providers throughout my pregnancy and not be able to choose who is with me in labor?
-- What is your relationship with the hospital staff?
-- Do you have full privileges at the hospital?
-- Whom do you call for a second opinion on a clinical concern with a client?
-- When and for what reasons would you call in a consultant?

Testing
-- What are your recommendations regarding: AFP screening, amniocentesis, routine ultrasounds in pregnancy?
-- When would you recommend or perform an ultrasound, schedule a non-stress test, contraction stress test, biophysical profile?

Labor & Birth
-- Do you require any routines in labor: fetal monitoring, preps, IVs, bedrest?
-- Do you recommend -- or prohibit -- eating and drinking during labor?
-- When would you do an episiotomy and what is your episiotomy rate?
-- What percentage of labors in your practice are induced?
-- Do the nurses at the hospital support your philosophy?
-- What methods of pain relief do you recommend?
-- What is your cesarean rate and what is the cesarean rate at your facility?
-- Can my partner be present if there is a cesarean?

Postpartum

-- What are the baby protocols?
-- Is there any mandatory separation following birth?
-- Can I breastfeed immediately, even if I have a cesarean?
-- Do you have a board certified lactation consultant on staff?
-- What is your opinion on circumcision?

Answer:
Need Advice?
Get answers from iVillage experts and other moms just like you!
ASK YOUR QUESTION
Question Details
Subject
  1. Pick a subject:
Connect with 1,039,394 members just like you
Share your knowledge, ask questions.