At your first prenatal appointment, it is clear that your OBGYN or midwife will be asking a lot of questions, like when you had your last period and what your medical history is. But prenatal appointments are not a one-way street, and women can ask a lot of questions to find out more about their healthcare provider, and what kind of prenatal care they would be providing. What are some questions to ask at your first prenatal appointment questions that will help you decide whether or not the doctor or midwife you are seeing is a good match for you?
- How many prenatal appointments would you recommend, and why? How long will the prenatal appointments lasts each time, and where will they take place? Note that some midwives will travel to your house for prenatal appointments, for instance. Also ask whether your prenatal visits will be with the same person each time, or whether you will see the person that happens to be on call.
- What prenatal tests do you recommend? Will you be happy for me to skip any, as I see fit (especially the elective ones like an amniocentesis). What do you do at your typical prenatal appointment, and why?
- Who can I call if there is an emergency?
- Can I call anytime with questions?
- Quizz the midwife or doctor on their childbirth views and practices. If you don't mesh well in this area, you need a different provided. Good birth-related questions include those about their c-section rate, the most common complications they see and how those are handled, whether they respect informed refusal, and finally... An OB who does not allow the presence of doulas at a birth is not likely to be very supportive of their patients, and a midwife who has no idea how to answer questions about how to handle complications may well be incompetent.