The 23 Questions You Should Ask Before Deciding on a Natural Birth

It's important to expect the unexpected during delivery, but researching your options will empower you throughout your birthing experience. Whether you are just starting to consider a natural delivery or are already determined to give birth without medication, there are certain things you need to know far before the onset of your first contraction. You are the biggest advocate for both you and your unborn baby, so take the time during your pregnancy to ask your obstetrician or licensed midwife these 23 questions — and ensure that you have the answers before the birth of your child.

  1. Do I have any health complications that put me at an increased risk during a natural labor?
  2. What are the benefits for me and my baby?
  3. What are the risks and potential complications?
  4. How does it impact the chances of needing emergency interventions and does it limit those options?
  5. What is recovery like for a woman who delivers without medication?
  6. Does this change the chances of tearing or swelling?
  7. Does it change the way or frequency in which I would push?
  8. Does activity level during pregnancy help prepare the body for a natural birth?
  9. Are there different ways I can start preparing my body early in my pregnancy?
  10. Are there specific stretches for your hips you can work on?
  11. What things can my partner do to help me?
  12. How often do you use interventions?
  13. Can I deliver in different positions or do I have to be flat on my back?
  14. When is it too late to change my mind?
  15. How will I know if there needs to be a change in my birth plan?
  16. Are you supportive of natural births?
  17. Will you work with me to avoid pain medicine for along as is safely possible?
  18. What are your epidural and C-section rates?
  19. Are there any water options (like shower, bath, or birthing pool) during my delivery?
  20. Who will actually be delivering my baby?
  21. How many natural births have you participated in?
  22. Do you have specific birth classes you can recommend?
  23. What are natural labor pain-management techniques I should work on?