When you are pregnant, there are a lot of things running through your mind at once, most of them being questions. As the date of delivery approaches, those questions become all the more important and all the more difficult to remember to ask. Here are a few important ones that you should add to your list.
What if My Doctor’s Unavailable?
Although your physician may have set a due date, that is only a best guess as to when you will actually deliver. Normally, your doctor will try to be available for a delivery in the week before and after that date. However, extenuating circumstances or a very early delivery could cause them to be unavailable when you need them. Instead of panicking when the time comes and taking whoever happens to be available, plan for this situation ahead of time. Speak with your doctor about potential back-ups. Ask who they recommend and if you can get their numbers for your on-call list. It might also be a good idea to meet them, so if they do end up delivering your baby, you will have already established a relationship with them, making for a more comfortable experience.
Who Can Come with Me?
Back in the day, women would bear their pain alone but for the doctors and nurses in the delivery room, but now, most moms want to bring in the father, or at least some trusted family member or friend. For a standard delivery, this shouldn’t be a problem, but if there are complications, they may be asked to leave so that doctors have more room to work. Normally, they will ask you to restrict access to the delivery room to one or two people and with all the chaos birth can bring, you’ll appreciate not having too many people around. If you will be having a C-Section surgery though, having someone in the delivery room may or may not be possible. Be sure to ask before promising access to anyone.
Will Someone Be There to Show Me?
Some women panic a bit after going through delivery and finally getting the chance to be alone with their new baby. They suddenly realize that they don’t know how to change a diaper or that breastfeeding is harder than it looks. Luckily, there are people on staff at the hospital who can guide you through your first attempts at these tasks. They can give you tips to help you get your baby to latch for breastfeeding and show you the proper way to take care of their sanitary needs as well. Ask your chosen hospital about who they have available to go through these questions with you once you have delivered.
If you have more questions, be sure to join me for my live webcast, Inside Information for Women, every Thursday at 1pm Eastern. I can take your call and do my best to answer any burning questions you might have regarding your pregnancy, delivery, or women’s health in general. In the meantime, if your due date is approaching, be sure to write down the questions you have, so you will remember to ask each one at your next pregnancy check-up. That way, when your baby and body are ready to deliver, your mind will be ready too.
- Yvonne S. Thornton, M. D., M. P. H.