Every woman has different preferences for childbirth, so you should do plenty of research about who you want to have as your obstetrician and visit a number of them if possible. It’s important that you feel comfortable, because you will be sharing intimate and personal details with them. There’s a lot to think about, but to make the most of the short nine months of pregnancy and have a positive experience of labour, you need to feel confident that you are in the right hands.
A list of useful questions you may want to ask before choosing your obstetrician:
1. Which hospitals do you attend?
2. Are you available around my estimated due date?
3. What are your philosophies and beliefs about birth? Is it a medical process that needs to be monitored continuously and controlled, or a natural process where nature should take its course before intervening?
4. How informed and involved will I be in the decision-making process during pregnancy and labour?
5. What are your thoughts on pain relief during labour? Do you assume that everyone will have medical pain relief, or do you support and encourage natural pain relief methods?
6. Will you and the hospital staff respect my birth plan but provide guidance if and when it needs to be changed?
7. What are your thoughts on electronic foetal monitoring during labour, and when do you think it should be used?
8. What is your induction rate, and at what point do you feel induction of labour should be considered?
9. What do you think about time limits for labouring?
10. What is your caesarean section rate, and in what situations will you recommend a caesarean section?
11. What is your episiotomy rate, and in what situations would you perform one?
12. How often do you use forceps or vacuum extraction to deliver a baby?
13. Will I be able to have skin-to-skin contact with my baby and start breastfeeding shortly after the birth?
14. Are you willing to let me have a vaginal birth for my second baby even though I had my first via caesarean?
15. How do you feel about vaginal breech birth? If you support it, what conditions do you have?
16. How do you manage the third stage of labour, the birth of the placenta? Do you allow it to happen naturally, or do you intervene and give an injection to expel the placenta?
The Panel : Did you give birth here?
Abigail: Our first child was born in Melbourne, but we had our new addition in Singapore at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. Our obstetrician was Paul Tseng who we chose for his pro-natural approach; he seems to be well known here.
Kathryn: I gave birth at Gleneagles Hospital with Dr LC Foong. It’s true what they say – that guy is a miracle worker!
Katy: Archie was born at the National University Hospital with Professor Chong. Jago was born at home and delivered by my husband after a very quick labour. (A home birth wasn’t the plan!)
Mariel: I gave birth to my second child in Singapore. My doctor was Professor Biswas and I delivered at NUH