During your pregnancy, it is worthwhile to learn everything you can about all your choices for childbirth. Finding a doctor who is respectful of your questions and decisions on birth and honours your birth preferences might be challenging, but here are some tips for finding the right fit:

While talking with your caregiver, don't hesitate to say:

  • I don't understand.
  • Please explain this to me.
  • What could happen to me or my baby if I do that?  Or if I don't?
  • What are my other options?
  • Please show me the research to support what you're recommending.
  • Where can I get more information?
  • I have some information I'd like to share with you.
  • I'm uncomfortable with what you're recommending.
  • I'm not ready to make a decision yet.
  • I'm thinking about getting a second opinion.

          - from Childbirth Connection

Interview several doctors before deciding which one is right for you and your family.  Particularly if you want a natural childbirth, you may need to visit several care providers and clinics before you find one who respects your birth preferences. 

Flip through the Maternal Care Survey. The BBN has developed this survey so that women who have given birth in Bangalore can share information and opinions about the doctors and hospitals they used during their births. You can look through the hard copies of these surveys at the Mother-to-Mother meetings. If you’ve given birth in Bangalore and are interested in sharing your feedback with other expectant mothers, please fill out the online version of the Maternal Care Survey.   

Contact us for a list of supportive doctors. Over the years we have received a lot of feedback from Bangalore mothers regarding the care they received during their childbearing years. Based on mother’s experiences and our interactions with obstetricians and gynecologists in Bangalore we have compiled a list of compassionate doctors supportive of normal physiological birth and holistic postpartum and newborn care. Contact us for the list. 

Talk to other moms. Other moms who have given birth in Bangalore are a great source of information. Ask them about: Their experiences with doctors, including their doctors’ communication skills and respectfulness.  Their experience with hospitals, including policies about:  Induction policy if you go past your due date.  Eating and drinking during labour. Freedom of movement during labour. The use of IVs. Labour and birth support, such as a doula, husband, friend, sister, or mother. Newborn care immediately after birth.

Download Having a Baby? 10 Questions to ask from the Coalition to Improve Maternity Services CIMS . Backed by strong medical research, this document is a great guide for interviewing doctors. Print it out and take it along to your appointment! 

Note: The BBN is translating this document into Kannada and Tamil.

If you want a natural birth, be prepared to define natural birth to your doctor. Many doctors include the routine use of episiotomy, forceps, pain medication or pitocin in their definition of a “natural birth”. In Bangalore, as in many places around the world, the terms “natural childbirth” and “normal delivery” are used interchangeably with “vaginal childbirth”, which describes a baby born vaginally as opposed to by caesarean section.  When talking to your doctor, you should define the birth you want, in very clear terms, by creating your own written birth plan.