10 Important Questions To Ask Your Midwife/Doctor When You Are Pregnant (By Showunmi Mary)
Most women do not know what questions to ask their midwife or doctors, during their antenatal/ pregnancy period. Here are the important ones:
1). You should ask what your antenatal package contains. Some hospitals may include scans, hospital packs, and other things in your antenatal package. To avoid double-spending, it is wise to request and know what your antenatal package contains. If they cannot answer, they can point you to someone who can give you answers.
2) Ask about what pain relief they offer during labour. It might come to you as a shock that at the end of your pregnancy, the hospital you are in might not be able to offer the type of pain relief you might require.
3). Ask, discuss, plan, and write down a birth plan. A birth plan is a record of what you would like to happen before, during your labour and after birth. This also allows you to explore options that your hospital, midwife or doctor is ready to offer. A birth plan should also be flexible. You should also have a copy and give it to any midwife you come in contact with
4). Emergency readiness: in the previous point, we talked about discussing your plans with your midwife. However, emergency readiness is a discussion that looks into the “What ifs”. What if everything doesn’t go as planned, what other options do you have? For example, if you don’t go into labour on your due date, how much more time would you have before induction? What are their plans for induction? If an emergency occurs, do they have to move you to another hospital?
5) Ask your Midwife or doctor anything that you are not cleared of, worried about, or need more information about. They are there to prepare you towards having a wonderful birth experience
6) It is also very important to ask your midwife/doctor how your pregnancy is going, you need to understand whether your pregnancy is high risk or low risk.
7) Ask for an emergency contact/ a triage line, all hospitals should have an emergency contact and it should be made accessible to all women. Do they have a working ambulance?
8) Be sure to ask these questions before any procedures. Why are we doing this? what are the risks? What are the benefits? Are there any alternatives?
9) Can you have your birth partner with you? How long can your partner stay with you?
How many birth partners or visitors are you allowed? What is the CS rate? How long do you have to stay in the hospital depending on your type of delivery?
10) What post-delivery support is being offered? Skin to skin? breastfeeding support? immunization appointment? Vitamin k for babies? Postnatal appointment? Birth certificates? Circumcision? Ear piercing? Wound dressing for Caesarean section?
With these above questions, we hope it opens your eyes and also leads you to having the delivery of your choice
Showunmi Mary, is a Midwife, change agent, a counselor and a care giver who is concerned about helping mothers through out the conception period. She is particular about educating and giving out meaningful information about reproduction, delivery, antenatal, postnatal and child care to people, to mothers, and women in their reproductive age.
She is the founder and Lead Midwife at ANC with Nurse Showunmi. This is a platform comprised of a close Whatsapp group and an Instagram page dedicated to providing free consultation for women in the above categories.