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Questions for Clients to Ask Doctors

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These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

I don't really have a set list of questions, but as she describes what she wants I can see which issues are likely to require negotiation.

How many in practice, call schedule, which doc will be delivering, are other docs in practice going to honor what mom works out with this doc, does she like them.

Admits at which hospitals, those hospitals' statistics, teaching or not, etc

Statistics: # of births/ year, section stats, reasons for sections, episiotomy, forceps or vacuum etc. If the doc "doesn't know" section stats she can ask how many births this past week and how many sections of those. Someone might be having a good week, but the really atrocious ones never have that good a week and are flushed out.

At what point does doc expect her at hospital.

At what point does doc arrive at hospital.

Doc's reaction to labor support, docs reaction to birth plan.

Around here the standard is 20 mins of EFM every hour. We negotiate for 5 mins every 20-30 mins in first stage.

Doc's reaction to her wants/needs

Doctors are getting very good at playing the game. They can say yes, yes, yes all the way to the LDR and suddenly it's no, no, no. It's not just the "right" answers, it's the whole attitude.

Asking questions defines the relationship better for the woman, just who is hiring whom (and can fire if need be). If you are interviewing a potential employee, you expect to be treated with respect and are less likely to shrug off rudeness and patronization.

A woman I know of interviewed a doctor I know of. When she mentioned labor support he flew off the handle. He made it clear that he didn't want her to have professional labor support. She wanted it. She found another doctor who thought it was a great idea.

It probably doesn't surprise any of you that when faced even with respectfully asked questions that any other professional expects to hear from a potential client, doctors can turn ugly. What other professional can scream at, threaten, or otherwise verbally attack a potential client and stay in business?

I got my first (homebirth) client because her (young woman) OB made her cry a few too many times. Keep up the good work ladies and gentlemen. I could use the work.

p.s. Sadly, the young woman OB is, in my experience, often (though not always) the kiss of death for a laid back birth. I have some theories about this. Anyone else?

At how many births have you been in one-on-one attendance from the onset of active labor?

How many births have you attended where there were no medical interventions other than basic monitoring of the mother's condition and the baby's condition with intermittent auscultation?

What is your episiotomy rate?

What is your suture rate?

What is the rate of epidurals among your clients in labor?

What is your protocol regarding postdates? Is this different for first-time moms?

What is your recommended method of induction? What % of inductions end in a vaginal birth?

Do you use Cytotec in your practice for cervical ripening/induction?

What is your policy regarding cutting the umbilical cord?

If it appears that the baby may be having trouble breathing, do you leave the cord intact so that the baby may receive another couple minutes' worth of oxygenated blood?

Do babies get suctioned even if they appear fine? What kind of suctioning is this? Bulb suction in the mouth, throat and nose? DeLee suction of the esophagus and stomach? Full intratracheal intubation?

What percentage of your clients deliver in upright positions?

What percentage of your clients are sectioned for "Failure to Progress" or CPD?

Is there anything about my health or situation that disqualifies me as a homebirth candidate? Can you give me a reference for that?

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