It is important that you feel well-informed about your antenatal care and have accurate expectations about what will happen when you go into labour. If you choose to use a private obstetrician or midwife, ask about how they work and the fees they charge when you meet them so you can make an informed decision.
The following checklist suggests questions that you might ask your obstetrician or midwife. Not all of the questions will apply to you and you will no doubt have extra questions that are specific to your situation or preferences.
General questions for obstetricians or midwives during pregnancy
- When is my baby due?
- How often do I need to see you during my pregnancy?
- Will I have scans throughout my pregnancy? When?
- What other tests will I have?
- How can I manage my morning sickness?
- Do I need to make any lifestyle changes while I am pregnant (for example, diet, physical activity, alcohol and other drug use)?
- I’m already pregnant. Is it too late to take folate? Should I take any other supplements?
- Can I continue to take my current medications?
- Can I drink alcohol while I am pregnant?
- Are there any foods I need to avoid?
- Can I share my antenatal care with my general practitioner (GP)?
- Do you offer antenatal classes?
- Should I write a birth plan? What is your preferred format?
- How much weight do you recommend I put on?
- What exercise do you recommend?
- Can I have a home birth?
- Can I have a water birth?
- When should I stop working?
- Is it safe for me to travel overseas? Up until when in my pregnancy?
- Will you be there for the birth?
- How do I know when to come in to hospital?
- How long will I be in hospital?
- How many people can be in the delivery room with me?
- Can I use a Swiss ball/beanbag/birthing stool?
- What will you do if my labour slows?
- What happens if things don’t go to plan during a homebirth and I need emergency care?
- What methods of pain relief do you use or recommend during labour?
- What if there are complications during labour?
- In what situations would you recommend a caesarean section?
- At what point would you recommend inducing labour?
Do you use forceps or vacuum-assisted delivery (ventouse)?
- At what point would you do an episiotomy? Do I have to have an episiotomy?
- What vaccinations will my baby have after the birth?
Specific questions for private obstetricians or private midwives
- What is your midwifery training and experience?
- Are you registered with AHPRA or RANZCOG?
- How many babies do you deliver each week?
- How do you structure your antenatal care?
- What happens if you are not available when I go into labour?
- Can you visit me at home for my check-ups?
- Can you do a home birth?
If so, what items will I need to provide (blankets, old towels, etc.) and what will you provide?
- Which hospitals are you credentialed to work with?
- Can my partner or support person stay in the hospital with me during labour or after the birth?
- What is your preferred method of communication? (phone, email, text)
How much do you charge? Can I get anything back from Medicare?
- When will I have to make payments?
- What kind of postnatal care do you provide? For example, can you help with breastfeeding?
Where to get help
- Your GP
- Your obstetrician
- Your midwife
This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:
Better Health Channel - (need new cp)
Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.