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Finding a good healthcare provider, whether it is an OB or a midwife, is so important, and not always easy. Here are ten questions that you can ask a potential healthcare provider when you are interviewing them. Their answers to your questions will give you the information you need, and hopefully help you to find a doctor or midwife you are happy with for the duration of your pregnancy, and during your birth.

1) What do you do at prenatal visits? What are the tests you usually ask your clients to go through, and why? How much time do you spend with your clients during the average prenatal visit?

2) What happens if you are not available, for whatever reason, when I go into labor? Do you have a back-up? Who normally covers for you?

3) Tell me about your post-birth protocols. What does your newborn exam involve? Do you take the baby away to be washed and tested (apgar scores) right away, or are you happy to do apgar testing on the mothers abdomen?

4) What do you do to help new mothers and babies establish a successful breastfeeding relationship?

5) What do you do to include my partner in the prenatal visits, and at the birth itself? How many people can I choose to have at my birth? How do you feel about older siblings attending a birth?

6) Do you cut the umbilical cord right away after the birth, and what are your opinions about delayed cord clamping? Do you give the placenta time to leave the body by itself, or do you favor a more active approach to the third stage?

7) What percentage of your clients goes into labor naturally? How do you feel about induction? Under what circumstances do you recommend induction? What is your c-section rate (for an OB), or if you have a midwife, what is your transfer rate?

8) What pain relief options are available to me during the birth? How do you feel about unmedicated births? Do you encourage or allow your clients to move around freely during labor, and what birthing positions do you recommend? What are your opinions about waterbirths?

9) Will you be available for prenatal visits as often as I want them? Can I contact you during an emergency, or simply with questions, at any time?

10) Can I talk to some of your previous clients? (If the answer is yes, and your healthcare provider gives you contact details, this could be the most valuable resource available to you. It could tell you exactly what to expect from your healthcare provider, from the eyes of someone who has already gone though it!)

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