Before and during delivery

Practical considerations

  • Whether you prefer vaginal birth, c-section, or D&E.
  • The type of pain relief you would like. For example, whether you prefer sedatives, epidural, local anesthetic, no pain medication, or some other option. If it is important to you to be awake and remember the time you spend with your baby, request painkillers that will allow you to be alert and awake during the birth. (See section on Medications.)
  • Whether you want monitoring of mother, baby, both, or neither during labor and delivery.
  • If you are having a c-section, when you would like the drape lowered (before, during, or after delivery).
  • Whether there are certain doctors or other staff that you do or do not want attending you. Also, whether you would prefer not to be seen by residents or students.
  • Whether you want specific music or lighting.

Family, friends and birth attendants

  • Who should be allowed in the room with you, and when.
  • If you have other children, whether or at what point you would like them in the room with you, and/or what you would like their role to be.
  • How you would like information conveyed to visitors who are not being allowed into the room.

Caring for your baby during delivery

  • Whether to address your baby by name during and after delivery, if you have already named your baby. (See the “Naming your baby” section)
  • Who should catch your baby and/or cut the umbilical cord.
  • Whether you want your baby’s gender announced, if you do not already know.
  • Where you would like your baby placed after delivery. For example, if you would like your baby placed on your chest, wrapped and held by a family member, or in a bassinet.
  • How you would like your baby transported, if you need to be moved from one room to another. For example, if you would like your baby to remain on your chest, or carried by a family member.

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Article by Kay Squires, with special thanks to Valerie, Holly, and Marion, and the members of the PROM mailing list
January 2005, updated July 2011