The most important part about your pregnancy is YOU. Deciding what type of care you would like during your pregnancy, labor, delivery and post natal care will determine the type of provider you may choose. Start by thinking about and laying out a birth plan. Think about the answers to questions such as:
- Do I want to have a natural birth with no interventions?
- Will this birth be at home, at a birthing center, a water birth, etc?
- Who will I want to be present during the birth?
- Do I want to work with a doula, midwife, lactation consultant, and/or Chiropractor?
In the process of choosing an OB/GYN, doula, midwife, Chiropractor, etc. bring up your birth plan, whatever it may be, and ask if they are comfortable with allowing you to follow it. Also, you may want to ask:
Choosing a Hospital…
- Do they offer water birth? What are the details/procedures for a water birth?
- Do you allow skin on skin contact immediately after the birth?
- Is the cord cut or clamped immediately, or can it remain intact for a while as to benefit my baby’s blood and iron?
- How much time after birth will the baby have with me? Will the baby be out for procedures? If so, how long? Will the baby be sleeping the room with me?
- What are the traditional procedures for a new born? Eye Drops? Ointment? Circumcision? Vitamin K shots? Anything else?
- Are there any immediate vaccinations? Hep B? What can I sign to avoid the vaccine?
- Do I need to sign anything to NOT have the silver nitrate drops and the erythromycin ointment placed onto my baby’s eyes after birth?
- What are the benefits of the Vitamin K shots and are they necessary? What are the risks associated with not receiving it? Is there something I can sign off on if I choose not to administer it? Is the oral Vitamin K available?
- Will I be able to move around in the room to make myself comfortable?
- What positions do you allow for the birthing process?
Choosing your Doctor…
- Are there time slots for each patient? My concern is being recommended to be induced to accommodate my timeslot or the doctor’s schedule.
- What is your frequency of scheduling inductions, C-sections, or interventions?
- How often do you use Pitocin, Epidurals, and C-sections?
- How closely do you adhere to “the due date,” and do you allow for the baby to come when they are ready?
- What specific testing do you perform during checkups (such as ultrasounds) and how often?
- Once labor begins, will I be able to move around, walk, etc? Or will I be laying down being monitored?
- What is your philosophy on vaccinations?
- Are there other practitioners you work with such as other doulas, midwives, or lactation consultants?
- What birthing tools are available? Birth balls, birth stools, etc?
Your Hospital Accommodations…
- Will I be in one room during my entire stay, or will I be moved to a separate postpartum room?
- Will I have a private tub or shower for my postpartum room, or will I have to share?
- Who do they allow in the room? Will my spouse be able to stay over in the room?
- Will I have to share a room with another family?
- What is your policy on baby care immediately after birth? If my baby needs to be checked, weighed, or placed in a heater – will he be taken out of my room? Or will the examinations take place in my room?
- How does the hospital support breastfeeding? Who will be there to guide you, shortly after your baby is born? Is support offered seven days a week?
The most important thing to remember is that you know your body better than anyone else, and a mother’s instinct is very strong. If something feels off, it probably is. The human body is intelligent, strong, resilient, and is able to function independently without excess external interventions. Your pregnancy and birth is a beautiful amazing process and should be experienced the way you want. Congratulations, and happy baby!
- *International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA): This is an organization that is focused on holistic pregnancy, birth, growth and development. They publish a magazine called “Pathways to Family Wellness” and have extensive informative resources on their website. www.icpa4kids.org
- *The Center for Women’s Health at Avon: This is a group of practicing midwives in Avon and Brick that can help you throughout the process if you choose to have a truly natural birth:
- 43 Main Street Suite 1A Avon, NJ 07717 Phone: 732- 776-9790
- 525 Route 70, Suite 2A Brick, NJ 08723 Phone: 732-477-0927
- *Cornelia Mazzan, Doula
- *Bend & Blossom: providing services and resources including prenatal yoga, hypnobirthing classes, pre and post natal care, various classes and workshops. Nicole Buratti
- 113 East River Road Rumson, NJ 07760 Phone: 732-784-3161
- *Linda Carroll, Midwife and Lactation Consultant, and Tara Murphy, RN, Lactation Consultant: Meridian Health Systems
- *Well Adjusted Babies by Jennifer Barham-Floreani: This is a book written by a mom and Chiropractor from Australia that gives AWESOME information about the entire birth process, information about choosing a practitioner, testing, natural methods, traditional methods, and much more. It is so good, that it is used as a test book in Chiropractic school for classes related to OB, pediatrics, etc. You can find it on amazon.