Find Out Your Provider's True Feelings About Birth

Once you find out your pregnant, the first thing you want to do is find a provider. Some women know the provider they will go with right off the bat, most likely from a good review or referral from family or friends. Others will have no idea and just google the first provider for pregnancy they can find that is closest to them. Either way, don't assume that every provider will agree with your viewpoints or thoughts surrounding pregnancy and birth.


Earlier this month I had a local mom in the Shenandoah Valley reach out to me. She was 35 weeks pregnant with her fifth baby and had been wanting a different birth experience than she had with her first four kiddos. This time around, she had done more research on different options for birth and postpartum, so she wanted to ask her doctors what their practice entailed. Some of the simple questions she asked were:

-how long do you wait before cutting the cord?

-can you cut the cord after it has completely stopped pulsing (meaning all the blood has transferred from the placenta to the baby)

-can I give birth in any position?

-what positions can I push in?

-can I not be pushing on my back?

-can I choose to not have Pitocin after I give birth?

-what are the options for vitamin K for my baby?


Long story short, they did not like how she was asking so many questions, so they told her at her 34-week appointment that she should think about looking for care elsewhere since they didn't agree with many of the options she had researched and desired for her birth. Fastforward 3 days, she received an official letter in the mail stating that she has been released from their practice and is responsible for seeking out different care. When she called the office to ask about the letter they stated,


"the doctors felt that it was ridiculous having to go over the same stuff every visit and that [one of the doctors] had spent an 'exuberant' amount of time with her last week going over stuff that had already been covered"


The mom told me that the meeting with that last doctor the office was speaking directly about was the first time the mom had ever spoken to that specific doctor in the practice. She only talked with each doctor in the practice once about her preferences and desires.


RED FLAGS EVERYWHERE!!!!!


Does that mean that this mama shouldn't have asked these questions? Not at all!

These questions, while putting her in a stressful situation late in her pregnancy, revealed some very important information to her that these doctors did not share the same point of view as she did regarding birth and more importantly what is normal, evidenced based birth practices. Yes, she could have chosen to stay quiet, but then none of her preferences would have been fulfilled at all, and that would have most likely resulted in a traumatic birth experience for her.


So what does this mean?


This means it is up to YOU, yes you mama to decide who you would like to be the OB or midwife at YOUR birth. It is up to YOU mama to know what their stats are on inductions, c-sections, transfers, etc.


So how to do this?


Know Your Options

I can't stress how important this is. Some women still believe that birth has to be done in a hospital, with an epidural, on their back. While that may be how your own mother gave birth and how birth is depicted in most television shows, it is not the only option. Here are some quick tips on how to do your research:

-Take a childbirth education class that is NOT in a hospital: This is super important. While they may be free, they only cover your hospital pain management options and not the full spectrum of what you can choose (birth center, homebirth, hospital, midwife, OB, etc).

-Read from a good pregnancy book (Made for This, Nurture, Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn to name a few). For goodness sake do NOT read What to Expect When You're Expecting.

-Check out Evidence Based Birth. I personally go back and forth with them now since they have 100% gone into the 'woke' culture, but they have great articles on various topics for pregnancy, birth, and newborn procedures that are more up to date than what most OBs and hospitals are practicing.


Don't Just Take Someone Else's Word

You may have been referred to a practice or midwife from a family member or good friend, but don't just take their word. Interview the provider with some questions as to what their views are on birth, practices, c-section rates, induction policy, and so on. Then feel free to interview several providers before choosing one! Remember, you are hiring them.


Ask Questions Early

Don't wait to ask these questions till the final few weeks.

When it comes to various policies or practices, I can guarantee you that time will not change the providers mind if you don't agree. So the best thing to do is ask early and if you don't like what you hear, then switch!


What are the Red Flags?

There are few things that are red flags when it comes to talking with your provider:

-Not directly answering the question

-Fear mongering (using specific words or phases to instill fear in making a decision)

-Using old, outdated information

-Doesn't listen to you

-Doesn't respect you or your choices


Remember, YOU hire the provider you would like. So speak up, ask questions, and talk with several in your area. If you don't find someone in your immediate area, don't be afraid to travel a little further to have the provider of your dreams!



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