Birth Doula Blog
I'll admit it, there's something about being in a hospital or doctor's office that just makes you want to say "yes" to everything and question your God-given intuition. But you CAN speak up, ask questions, get second opinions, ask for more time, or just say "NO!"
Having a doula who can educate you on the possible procedures and interventions is a great way of using knowledge to your advantage. She can let you know if you can opt out of something that doesn't sit right with you, help you start a conversation with your provider, give you unbiased info on the topic, and provide you with alternatives so that you can choose what's best.
Not many women know they can refuse cervical checks, routine IV fluids, membrane sweep, breaking your water, some monitoring, induction if mom and baby are healthy, unnecessary C-sections, and ultrasounds for non-medical reasons.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
•Create a birth plan and have a conversation with your provider regarding your wishes and how they can support it
•Understand possible procedures/interventions and identify the ones you're not ok with (unless necessary) ahead of time
•Providers are legally required to tell you the possible benefits and risks of any procedure, so ask before agreeing to anything
•Your autonomy needs to be respected and you have the right to informed refusal...but the doctor also has the right to disagree to provide care you may request
Click here to learn more about informed consent.
Help, I'm Past 40 Weeks!
First off, relax! Due dates aren't an exact science and when your little one makes her debut can't really be predicted. In fact, only 5% of babies are born on their due date. What triggers labor isn't entirely clear but many studies show that when baby's lungs are developed she releases a hormone that begins labor. So if she hasn't come yet, chances are she's not ready. In fact, most first-time mothers deliver up to a week after their due date.
Forty weeks is a pretty good guess but isn't one size fits all. If you're feeling great and baby is healthy then take a deep breath and enjoy your extra "alone time." If you haven't had any signs of labor starting, don't worry. Sometimes all the things happen within one day! That is, you lose your mucous plug, have bloody show, begin contractions, efface, and baby drops within hours of each other.
If the wait is just killing you or you're over being pregnant then reach out to support groups to vent or you could try safe, non-chemical ways to induce.
Although it may feel like it, you won't be pregnant forever!
If your physician is recommending an induction before 42 weeks, you have every right to decline, assuming you and baby are healthy. Ask them to provide you with evidence-based reasons as to why an induction is necessary, get a second opinion, retake tests, and listen to your intuition.
Use BRAIN to help...consider the Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, what your Intuition says, and what if you do Nothing. A pregnancy greater than 42 weeks does carry risks so be sure to keep that in mind.