Trust is so important in childbirth, and when you are choosing a provider or deciding whether to stay with your provider. Julie Six is a doula in Lexington, Kentucky, who has attended births for almost ten years, and says, “Many women recognize, when they’re discussing their birth preferences with their chosen provider, that what they are wanting may not be fully supported by that person. Some women choose to change care and others opt to stay. Throughout all of these experiences, I have yet to see a woman regret her choice to switch, but I have seen many women regret that they chose to ignore their own red flags and stay with a provider they weren’t totally sure about.” Julie identified these red flags as what she often sees.
Do you have any of these red flags?
1.) You leave your appointments feeling somewhat supported, but not fully.
2.) You feel that you might have to fight for the birth you desire to have (with the hospital or provider).
3.) Your provider doesn’t provide care that is supported by best research and evidence. (“Well, we don’t do it that way because we feel…”)
4.) Conversations you have about your birth preferences leave you feeling that you are having to either give in or fight for what you desire to have happen.
5.) Your provider shares call with other physicians who may not share the same philosophies on birth.
6.) You are met with the following phrases: “We might be able to support that,” “We don’t allow that here,” “Hospital policy says that we can’t,” “I can’t let you,” “We don’t allow that,” etc.
7.) You are seen usually by a nurse practitioner and rarely meet the person you have hired to be at your birth.
8.) Provider statistics are not readily available upon request.
These are all signs that you may not be supported in receiving the care you would like for your birth. Remember that it is never too late to transfer care to a practice that fully supports all of your decisions!
Your birth is something you will remember for the rest of your life and something your provider likely will not. You and your baby deserve the very best!
These “red flags” are available in PDF as a free download here. Thank you to Julie Six and The Birth Haven in Lexington, Kentucky, for sharing these “red flags”!
Have you seen what Improving Birth is up to? We’re supporting women all over the country, as well as working with mothers, providers, and policy makers to lead change in various communities. We need your support today! Please give here and plan to attend or organize a gathering for the 2014 Rally to Improve Birth this Labor Day, September 1–the only national event of its kind, where consumers come together to raise awareness about the maternity care crisis and demand change. We’ll see you there!