...for the third trimester that is! Time is flying by of course so I sat down to finally make a list of questions I would like to ask my OB within the next couple of months. With my first pregnancy I was just so darn happy, excited, and scared that I went along for the ride on everything and didn't really ask any questions. With this one I have educated myself more on all of the options that are out there that may help my labor and be good for the baby. I have a different doctor this time around so some of these questions are also for my peace of mind because I am a planner and it eases my anxiety to know ahead of time what to expect.
1. How friendly is my hospital with patients using a doula? I have toyed with the idea of using one for awhile mainly because my last labor/delivery was so long and difficult. I was induced at 3 days past due and was at the mercy of my nurses and doctor to make my body advance even though it seemed to be fighting at every step. I feel like having a trained support person there to take the stress off of Nick and I would help things. Here is a link with more about doulas.
2. Is my doctor open to delaying the umbilical cord clamping? This is something I have been reading about and it makes a lot of sense to me. The cord naturally pulses as it circulates and filters the blood from the placenta back to baby. When the cord is clamped as soon as the baby is delivered, there is still a lot of blood left in the placenta. You can compare it to a patient on kidney dialysis being disconnected while the machine tubing is still full of their blood. The cord naturally begins clamping down when it is exposed to the air and the temperature change outside the womb. Here is a link that talks more about delayed cord clamping.
3. What is my doctor's stance on food intake during labor? Many doctors order an NPO (nothing by mouth) status for laboring women on the chance that they will be taken for an emergency C-section. With my last delivery I was in labor for 3 days so how would they expect you to have the energy to push a baby out? Some doctors are more lenient and will liquids or soft foods during early labor.
4. What can I expect if I want an epidural? Is there a "cut off" for getting one, like being dilated to a 7 or above? Will I have to have a catheter? How long will I expect to wait for the doctor to place one?
5. What is the hospital's policy for visitors? How many can I have in the room during delivery? What are visiting hours for during labor and postpartum?
6. What is my doctor's stance on an episiotomy? What can be done to help my body naturally stretch and prepare for delivery? Studies have shown that an episiotomy may be more harmful than letting the body naturally do it's own thing, and more doctors are steering away from always doing them.
7. How does my hospital handle circumcision if I choose it? Is it done the day of delivery, or the next day? Am I able to hold my baby during it, or at least be present? What method do they use, and what soothing techniques are there?
8. Will my doctor be able to estimate birth weight? My last baby was just under 9lbs, past due, and did NOT want to come out. Even after being fully dilated we had so much trouble getting him down the birth canal. I feel that this was partly due to his size (and me being a first-timer) so if my next one looks to be around the same size that may affect decisions I make regarding induction.
9. When should I take a tour of the L/D area? I will feel much more comfortable after seeing in person where I need to check in, what the rooms look like, the accommodations, how the process of admission/discharge works, and what the rules are.
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These are the main questions I have come up with so far! I'm not one of those moms who is dead set on a certain birth plan and no one dare stand in my way--I just like to know what my options are and how I can make this strenuous time a little less chaotic.
Hopefully these questions have helped you out if you are expecting also, or at least gotten you thinking about options you didn't know you had! My 6 month check up is on Tuesday so I still have some time to figure things out, but I will be sure to write about what the answers were to my questions.
In other news, today I got a great deal on a gently used Rock n' Play sleeper!! I think this will be perfect for keeping downstairs, plus it folds up easily and is portable to take with us to the grandparents' so baby will have somewhere safe to sleep. Here is pic of what a new one looks like: