When starting the process of selecting a care provider for your pregnancy, consider a simple yet empowering step: reflecting on your own beliefs about childbirth.
It's essential to approach this search with a sense of empowerment – YOU are the one in charge, not the other way around. Remember, you're not just choosing them; they're also working for you. While they are experts in birth, they're not experts on you or your baby.
Begin by determining the type of care you're drawn to – whether it's an OB, midwife, or birth attendant – and then gather information about each option. Reach out and have conversations with potential providers in your area. Pay attention to how they talk about birth and see if their approach resonates with you. Energy is everything. How do you feel when you speak with them? Remember, this individual is going to play a vital role in supporting you through this huge rite of passage in your life- choose wisely.
When you’ve found your person I’m sure you’ll be that much more excited knowing you took the time to find the right fit for you and your baby.
Once you've chosen the one to walk with you, compile a list of questions that matter most to you. Sometimes, we hesitate to ask questions, fearing conflict. However, a good care provider should be open to addressing your concerns. If they're not, that might be a sign to reconsider. Remember, asking questions allows you to get to know this person even better.
Let's break down the questions into three levels:
Basic Questions: These are straightforward and can be answered with a yes or no. For instance, "Do you recommend induction after 40 weeks?"
Deeper Inquiries: These questions dig a bit deeper, encouraging more detailed responses. For example, "How do you feel about induction?"
Core Concerns: These are the questions that touch on the heart of the matter. For instance, "If I go past 41 weeks, what alternatives do you suggest besides induction?"
Society often promotes certain ideas about childbirth that may not align with your values. Don't hesitate to question these beliefs, especially if something doesn't feel right to you. Trust your instincts and remember that there are always other options to consider.
Creating your list of questions might seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn't have to be. Find a quiet space, close your eyes, and envision your birthing experience. What do you want it to be like? What are your thoughts on home vs. hospital, medicated vs. unmedicated, induction, and monitoring? As your thoughts clarify, you'll be better equipped to discuss what matters most to you with your care provider.
If you're considering a midwife, remember that the term doesn't necessarily indicate a holistic approach. Midwives also follow regulations, and while not all may adhere to them, some might need to make choices between honouring their license or honouring you. If you opt for a midwife, take time to familiarize yourself with the regulations outlined in the Ontario Midwifery Act (or wherever you live). This information might not be readily shared, so you may need to seek it out, here is some information if you live in Ontario:
As you embark on this journey, trust that taking a thoughtful and inquisitive approach will guide you toward the right care provider who aligns with the values and vision of your birth.