Whether this is your first baby or your fifth, there are always going to be some worries, questions, or concerns you will have about your upcoming labor and delivery. Certain things need to be discussed with your physician prior to being admitted into the hospital because once you're there, things can move really quickly and you may find yourself in a whirlwind of action and never getting answers to those questions, having your concerns discussed, or in the middle of a panic attack because your worries came to life and you weren't prepared.
Everyone is different, and every labor and delivery is different so there's only so much preparation you can do beforehand. Still, there are some topics to discuss with your OB before the big day that will help you feel at ease and as prepared as possible for the big day - well before the chaos sets in while you're in the middle of contracting.
9 Any Anxiety You Have
If there are some things you're nervous about before the big day, talk to your OB about them. You can (and probably have) Googled a lot of them, but all that will do is send you into a spiral of worst-case scenarios and give that anxiety and fear more power.
Instead, speak directly with your doctor and ask for as much detail as you need to feel safe and secure. Your doctor will be happy to put you at ease and (if they're good) will be patient with you for as long as you need to get all of your questions answered.
8 Your Ideal Birth Plan
Not everyone makes a complex birth plan, but a lot of women do. If you're one of them, make sure you communicate with your OB about your plan before you are admitted to the hospital.
This way, your plan is in your chart and the hospital staff will see it. If you don't talk about it before, you may end up not having the experience you'd like (and could have had, assuming there are no complications) and feeling like you missed out on something important. If you want all the medication - tell them, if you want to go pain medicine free - tell them! Communication is key when it comes to birth plans.
Any allergies to medications are probably already in your chart, but if you have adverse reactions to other medications, you may want to let your doctor in on that information as well.
There are a lot of pain and antibiotic medication options and chances are good that if you get itchy from one pain medicine, even if it's not anaphylaxis, your doctor can find something that will work better for you, or at least make you a little less itchy!
7 How You Prefer To Be Informed If Complications Arise
Do you like tough news to be sugar-coated? Do you want to be told like it is? Do you need in-depth details during scary situations so you can fully process everything? Think about how you'd like information to be relayed to you should there be an issue during labor.
Most deliveries are successful and everyone comes out healthy, even so, the route to that healthy delivery isn't always cut and dry. Don't panic over the thought of possible complications, but consider how you'd like the information communicated to you should they arise.
6 Past Traumas That Could Affect You During Labor
While we'd love to assume everyone has a wonderful past that won't complicate the joy of giving birth, that's simply and sadly not the case. If you experienced any kind of trauma that may affect your comfort during invasive exams, possible surgeries, or strangers entering the room, be sure to speak to your OB about it prior to your delivery.
There are a lot of people that come and go over the course of labor and delivery, and you want to be sure that message gets to each and every one of them so that they can respect you and what you need to feel comfortable and safe.
5 Any Special Accommodations You Want
Do you want to do a water birth? Are you interested in certain labor techniques that aren't standard? Be sure to speak to your OB about anything that may be out of the ordinary you want in your delivery room.
Not every room is equipped with the same tools so if they know ahead of time that you want a tub for a water birth, they will be sure to give you a room that aligns with that wish.
4 Pain Medications You Would Prefer To/Not To Have
There are a lot of different pain medications on the market and they are not all created equal. Some only last for 30 minutes, some will knock you out completely, and others won't do much of anything.
If you are up to date on different pain management options and don't want to be given fentanyl or have had a substance abuse problem in the past, be sure to speak with your OB about this so that they can chart it and flag it in the system so that when you're screaming for pain meds during labor, they won't bother you with pesky questions.
3 If You Have A Doula
Many hospitals have a limit on how many people you can have in your labor room, so you may need to disclose that you have a third (or fourth) person you'd like to have in there. Additionally, by telling your OB that you're using a Doula, you're telling them that they don't need to worry about giving you direction throughout labor and to only step in when specifically asked.
It's a matter of respect and making sure everyone is on the same page and two providers aren't at each other's throats with advice and direction when you're just trying to have a baby.
2 Family History Of Birth Complications
If this is your first baby, but you know that your mom, sister, mother-in-law, or sister-in-law had complications during pregnancy, you may want to discuss them with your OB.
Some complications may be hereditary/genetic while others aren't, but being honest about them with your OB will allow them to treat your pregnancy accordingly if there are any extra measures they should take to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible.
1 Anyone You Do Not Want In The Room With You
Just like you should share any extra person you want in the room with you during labor/delivery, you should also let them know anyone you absolutely do not want in there with you.
If you have a family member who is a risk to your safety or even someone that you just simply don't want in there during that time, tell your physician so that the people running the front desk know not to let them in.