Birth Prep

21 Questions to Ask Your Provider Before Labor

Make sure YOU’RE prepared for labor and delivery, and know what to expect. Here are 21 essential questions to ask your provider before labor.
Dr. Marcy Crouch
Posted on
April 14, 2023
Minute Read

Knowledge is POWER

Being prepared is an essential part of becoming a mom. We prepare for everything! We prep nurseries, prep our cars, get the latest car seats and strollers — we make sure we have everything we need for baby.

But what a lot of moms report happening AFTER the baby comes, is that they focused so intently on everything else, that when it’s actually time to push that baby out (or get a c-section), they feel unprepared for labor.

It is crucial to understand the birthing process, recovery process, and the various stages of pregnancy before they occur. Knowledge is power, and mothers report having better experiences during labor and delivery, even if things don't go according to plan, when they are aware of what could happen beforehand.

Be Proactive So You Don't End Up Being Reactive

I believe it is crucial to have your questions answered well before experiencing the first contraction or water breaking. Doing so provides peace of mind, knowing that your questions have been addressed. Asking during your pregnancy also allows you ample time to reflect on the answers and seek guidance well in advance so that you can be proactive in your decision making rather than being reactive in the moment.

For example, I advise many mothers to consent to an epidural before they actually need it. This allows it to be ready when needed and ensures that they understand the associated risks and benefits. They can ask questions to the anesthesiologist ahead of time and know what to expect when receiving the medicine.

Questions to Ask Your Provider Before Childbirth

Below is a list of questions that I recommend asking your prenatal care provider during appointments. Having answers and knowing what to expect will not only make the birth process easier, but also empower you to be an active participant. You won't feel blindsided or surprised by any decision made because you'll be involved in the decision-making process.

Pain management and medication options

  • What type of pain medication is used at the birthing facility?
  • Is there a point of no return for administering an epidural? When can I have one?
  • Are there other pain relief options besides epidural?
  • What medication, if any, is used for induction?
  • What are the risks and benefits of using Pitocin? When is it used?
  • Am I allowed to use other pain relief or mindfulness strategies, such as acupuncture, music, or aromatherapy?

Instrumental delivery

  • Do you use forceps during delivery? If so, under what circumstances would a forceps delivery be preferred over a C-section?
  • Do you perform vacuum-assisted deliveries? What factors are considered when deciding whether to use a vacuum during delivery?
  • What is your rate of episiotomies, and when would one be recommended?

Labor positions, props, and pushing

  • What is the dosage of epidural, and can I move around in the bed during labor and delivery while still receiving it?
  • Does the hospital provide a peanut ball for labor?
  • Is the hospital bed equipped with a squat bar or the ability to allow me to go into a sitting squatting position in bed?
  • In the case of an unmedicated delivery, am I able to deliver anywhere in the hospital room or am I confined to the bed?
  • Does the hospital offer water birth as an option during delivery?
  • I would like to push when I feel the urge versus being told when and how long to push. Is that something the nurses can work with me on?
  • Who repairs a grade 3 or grade 4 tear, and is it done in the operating room?
  • When would we decide to have a C-section, and how is that decision made?


  • When should I come to the hospital once labor has started?
  • I would like to have a doula with me for the delivery. Does the hospital allow more than one visitor?
  • I prefer not to have my in-laws or sister present. Is it possible for the nurses to help me maintain privacy?
  • Is my partner or spouse allowed to be with me during the whole labor process?
  • Am I allowed to eat and drink during labor?
  • How long will I be on the postpartum floor?
  • Does the hospital provide lactation and/or pumping support?
  • Will I have access to information on pelvic floor recovery?
  • Will I have a postpartum appointment before six weeks?

One More Thing Before You Go

I hope this list of questions is helpful for you! Keep in mind that it is not a comprehensive list of all the questions you might want to ask, but it’s a great starting place.

If you’re interested in more resources and ways to prepare, I’ve got you! I’ll drop a few links below of both free and paid resources to help you prepare and recover from childbirth.

Push Prep Crash Course: How to Save Your Pelvic Floor

Get our best tips for reducing the risk of trauma to your pelvic floor… and learn what to REALLY expect during pushing and delivery. (FREE)

PUSH PREP 101: Top 3 Tips to Ditch the Fear and Push Like a Pro!

My free, 1-hour webinar where you’ll learn how to reduce your risk of tearing and trauma with my proven system of “The 3Ps.” Learn more and register at the link above, we do a couple a week!

The Down There Done Right Bundle

This is my comprehensive online course — The total package. It’s basically a roadmap that will walk you all the way your birth prep, delivery, and postpartum recovery. I’m talking about real-life functional exercises, education, tips, training, and access to my online community. (PAID)

Dr. Marcy Crouch

Known as The Down There Doc on Instagram and TikTok, Dr. Marcy Crouch is a board-certified women’s health physical therapist working to elevate pregnancy and postpartum care for women everywhere.