Your choice of care provider is one of the biggest decisions you can make during a planned VBAC. It is never too early to discuss your labour and birth plan with him/her – it is better to know sooner rather than later whether or not he/she is fully supportive of your birth choices.
The following is a suggested list of questions that you might consider asking your care provider to establish how they will approach your birth and what sort of support and care they will offer. This list was written with a hospital VBAC in mind — some of these questions may not be relevant to all models of care, but many will apply to other birth choices. This list is by no means exhaustive.
If you are planning a hospital birth, it is worth also making time to ask the head of Labour and Delivery these questions, too. Birthing in a hospital means there are layers of systems to consider; these include hospital policy as well as your own care provider’s standard practice, and these may not always be synonymous.
Please take the time to read the ‘Planning a VBAC’ section and our sample VBAC birth plans – these may inspire more questions for you to add to your list. Many more interview questions can also be easily found by doing a simple internet search.
- Do you offer continuity of midwifery care?
- Do you think my last birth has any impact on this birth?
- Have you ever experienced a woman who has had a uterine rupture or dehiscence?
- What do you think my chances of having a VBAC are? Why?
- How many women under your care attempt a VBAC?
- What is your VBAC success rate?
- What is your Caesarean section rate?
- What are my costs for birthing with you? Do these include anaesthetist costs and personal assistant costs in the event these people are required?
- What happens when you are unavailable to come to my birth?
- Can I meet your stand-in/back-up carer before I go into labour?
- What happens if I go past my estimated due date? What happens if I go beyond 42 weeks?
- Do you use induction in VBAC?
- I wish to have a doula/midwife/friend/partner as my support people during labour. Do you have any objections to this?
- Do you support an active labour during which I am able to be active rather than actively managed?
- Under what circumstances would I be transferred from the birth centre to labour ward?
- Once my labour starts, when would you expect me to come to hospital?
- Are there any standard procedures you have during a VBAC labour, such as CTG monitoring and the use of a drip?
- What is your monitoring policy? Can I be monitored intermittently with a Doppler?
- Do you allow a woman to eat during a VBAC labour? And self-hydrate?
- Would you require me to wear a cannula (Jelco) in preparation for surgery?
- Do you have time limits on how long a woman should labour in each stage?
- Would you artificially augment labour? Under what circumstances?
- Can I use water for pain relief? Can I choose to water birth? Can I bring my own birthing pool?
- What are my pain relief options? How will these affect my desire for an active birth? What are the risks of each pain relief choice to me, my baby and our birth?
- If I require a Caesarean section, are you happy for my support team to attend?