There is cause for concern greater than ever before when it comes to the care childbearing women receive in the USA. Educating yourself about it can help turn the tide …
The Big Push for Midwives highlighted a recent study focusing on the quality of science based articles published in the American Journal of Obstetricians and Gynecology (ACOG) and reported only 1/3 of OB related articles were based on good and consistent science and research. The remaining 2/3 are based on professional opinion.
Would you follow the directions of a medical professional based on their medical opinion only or their medical knowledge supported by evidenced based research and science?
Mainstream medical care for illnesses such as cancers, heart failure, etc., are far more likely to be centered around evidence based science and researched standards of care. Even 2nd opinions are encouraged by medical professionals to those seeking medical solutions for their illnesses. However, not so in maternity and infant care.
There is evidenced based science and practices supporting women during pregnancy, labor, and the post partum period. Yet the medical community has been very slow to adopt these practices causing more unnecessary harm to childbearing women and their babies.
If you’re reading this, what can you do? Get educated! Consumers have always held the power for change. Consumers drive change. You are a “maternity consumer” right now if you’re pregnant. The more you know the better for you and your baby. The more you know the more you initiate change for yourself and for future expecting moms through the demands you advocate for with your doctor. How?
Once you discover you are pregnant, you:
- immediately look for a midwife
- interview Doulas, find the one you “connect” with to be with you during birth
- if you can’t find a midwife, interview doctors to find the one that supports your philosophy of birth (natural, medicated, home birth, Doula care, etc.)
- YES! Interview your doctor!
- learn what your birthing options are
- Do this EARLY in your pregnancy! By the end of your first trimester (3 months) you should be with a doctor or midwife you like and trust. You have time still to look for a Doula.
Can you change your Ob doctor if you don’t like them? Yes. The earlier you do this in your pregnancy, the better. It may be a challenge depending on how many months pregnant your are.
What to ask on your “doctor interviews”. Do you support:
- food and drink during labor
- labor support with a Doula
- laboring in upright positions, changing positions
- laboring upright with an epidural
- pushing in upright positions, hands and knees, squatting, etc.
- skin to skin with baby immediately after birth, vaginal or Cesarean birth (watch this video on “Natural Cesarean“)
- taking a shower during labor
- laboring in a tub of water
This is a beginning list. But the more you know what your choices are, where the evidence based science and research is, the more likely you will experience the kind of birth you want to have and help open the doors for other moms-to-be to do the same.