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Questions to Ask About Labor and Delivery

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on August 16, 2019

Here are some questions pregnant women should consider asking their health care provider about labor and delivery:

  1. At what point do you recommend that I go to the hospital/birth center?
  2. How soon after I get to the hospital will my health care provider see me?
  3. How much time will the health care provider spend with me during labor?
  4. If I write a birth plan, will it be honored?
  5. How often are vaginal exams performed during labor?
  6. Are showering and bathing allowed during labor?
  7. Does this birth center/hospital allow water births? What facilities are available for water births?
  8. How many people are allowed to be with me during labor and delivery? How many people are allowed to be with me during a cesarean delivery?
  9. What is the birth center's or hospital's policy regarding other children attending the birth?
  10. Are eating and drinking allowed during labor?
  11. What laboring positions are recommended?
  12. Is videotaping allowed?
  13. Can my partner cut the umbilical cord?
  14. How long will I need to stay in the hospital? Can I leave earlier if I want to?
  15. How long does the baby need to remain in the hospital after delivery?

Here are some questions pregnant women need to consider before going into labor:

  1. Is there someone available who can take you to the hospital at any time?
  2. How will you get in touch with that person?
  3. Do you have your route to the hospital planned and an alternate route if needed?
  4. Who will care for your children when it is time to go to the hospital?
  5. If you work outside the home, have you discussed your maternity leave with your supervisor?