Photo – Rosemary Elizabeth Photography
There were never more true words spoken. In pregnancy and birth, if you don’t know your options, you really don’t have any. Knowledge equates options, and if you don’t educate yourself on your upcoming birth, you are at the mercy of what your care provider tells you.
My first suggestion is to hire a doula. Most of the time, women hire a midwife or doctor before they hire a doula, which is understandable because prenatal care is extremely important. This doesn’t mean that, if you are uncomfortable, you have to be stuck with the care provider you’ve seen once or twice or even 20 time.
Trust me when I say that just because there is a “Dr.” in front of his/her name, that does not translate to “knows everything about birth”. Most doctors know just know a whole lot about a medical birth, which it’s always what women want.
In the past couple of months, I’ve had two clients fire their doctor and switch to a doctor who was more compassionate and understanding that it’s her birth and her choices.
I bet you didn’t know that you could fire your doctor or even your midwife, did you? You can. As a matter of fact, you should. Nothing screams “interventions ahead” louder than a care provider who isn’t on the same page as you when it comes to your options.
If you and your baby are in good health, and your care provider (doctor OR midwife) does or says any of the following at your appointments, now is a good time to start looking for another care provider. (These are actual occurrences from my current and past clients as well as my own experiences.)
- Laughs at your birth plan
- “Well, you can try it your way if you think you’re cut out for it.”
- Does not look you in the eyes during your appointments
- “We’ll see what things look like closer to your due date.”
- “Let’s go ahead and schedule an induction.”
- Frowns when you mention you have a doula
- “You don’t seem like the kind of person who can have a non-medicated birth.”
- “I’ll be on vacation, but you’ll have one of the 8 doctors in our practice at delivery.”
- Makes you feel inferior
- “You’re baby is already so big. I’m not sure if your body will birth him.”
- Dismisses your questions and concerns as “normal pregnancy feelings”
- “I think a repeat section is the better option.”
If you’ve experienced any of the above, it’s very easy to switch care providers. Follow these two simple steps to help improve your labor and birth options.
- Ask your doula or friends and family for care provider referrals.
- Make an appointment with the care provider of your choice.
That is all you have to do. Once you’ve made an appointment, if you choose to stay with the new care provider, their office staff will (with your permission) request any records they need from the previous office you used.
Make sure you know your options when it comes to your care providers. You don’t have a contract with the provider you’ve chosen, and it’s never to late to switch if you feel you’re not getting the level of care or respect that you deserve.