I want to emphasize something that is a big deal. It’s something I see overlooked often. It’s something that can cause a lot of tension during your birth. Nobody wants that, but sometimes we just don’t know what went wrong. Let’s take a look at what could save your birthing space…
Who you choose for your provider is extremely important. This is the person you are trusting with your life and with your babies life. They need to be knowledgable. Their degree or licensing should let you know that they check off that box on the list. But what’s maybe more crucial to your birth than knowledge? Respect. Aligning views on topics. Willingness to trust your instincts and work with you.
Now, I’m not saying your OB or midwife has to obey your every command. I don’t think that’s realistic. I mean, let’s be honest, most of these providers have been doing their job for many years. They’ve seen birth numerous times. They know what pregnancy entails. Whether they are more natural or more medically inclined, chances are they have more experience. And a lot of us are just dipping our toes in the water… I knew nothing with my first pregnancy, but I thought I knew a lot. I did my research, watched the videos, talked with others. But that doesn’t fully prepare you for all the possibilities. Having a knowledgable provider on your side is priceless! But having a knowledgable provider who respects informed consent and works with you, that’s immeasurable!
We all know that the doctor works for us. I pay him, he gives me care… That must mean I’m in charge. It does. It does mean you are in charge. But part of being in charge is choosing the provider that best fits your needs. I mean, I’m not about to hire a dog trainer to teach my rabbits manners. I certainly am not going to hire them and then demand that they change their entire style to fit my needs.
I believe that part of being in charge is finding the right person, not demanding that the wrong one comply to your demands. I realize in some areas and in certain situations this isn’t possible. If that’s the case then stand your ground and push for the birth you want. But if you have the choice, why would you choose the 1 star vehicle technician over the 5 star one? Why would you choose the OB with the 90% cesarean rate when you want a non intervention vaginal birth? That just doesn’t make sense. There are OBs who love natural birth. There are ones who respect your wishes, even if they don’t typically practice that way. And there are ones who prefer to hook you up to pitocin as soon as you come in. Pick the one that fits your situation best. Interview them. Find the one that feels the most comfortable. Be in charge- choose the right provider.
You can’t hire a home birth midwife and demand that she give you an epidural. She can’t do that. It won’t happen. So don’t hire a non-natural friendly OB and demand she change all of her views for you. It won’t happen. You’ll end up fighting the staff throughout your labor. It’s stressful. It’s not worth it. The most important thing in labor is relaxing and working with your body, don’t set yourself up to fight during that time!
And for those out of hospital births… find the right provider. Not every midwife is the same. Some of them rub your back and comfort you throughout the process. Others stay on the side and watch you. We all need something different. There’s a place for each provider. Just find the one for you. Interview them. Ask questions. Ask yourself how comfortable you feel. Ask yourself if you trust them. Ask yourself if they will respect your wishes.
Be in charge of your birth. It’s never too late to change care.
*Images used are from Malia Maureen Photography