Be an active partner with your care provider, and get the best care.
Oh the joys of pregnancy… you’ve battled nausea, your back hurts, you’re not sleeping, and you’re running to the bathroom every 20 minutes. Still, you’re absolutely 100 percent devoted to having the absolute best of everything for your baby. You’ve researched the safest car seats, highest-quality strollers, best cribs and smartest baby monitors. You and your baby are all set, right?
There’s one thing that’s important not to leave off your "smart shopper" checklist; your baby’s birth day!
Like any other kind of health care, maternity care isn’t perfect. You can help your baby and you get the best care by being an active partner in your care. Your health care provider – doctor or midwife - has important knowledge and skills, but they don’t always know everything about you or what is best for you and your baby. They need you to speak up about your concerns and needs early so you can get the care you’re looking for throughout pregnancy, labor and birth.
Why does your voice matter? A lot of the regular care that pregnant women receive includes unnecessary interventions that don’t always help and can sometimes even cause harm. Routine care isn’t designed for you and your baby’s unique needs.
Remember that getting the care that matches your and your baby’s needs may mean saying, “I’d like to consider another option.” Asking questions and providing information builds trust, and it’s the best way to make sure everyone is working toward the same goal – the safest, healthiest birth possible.
Share your experiences with other expectant parents! Have you talked about your preferences with your care provider? Did you have to push to get the care you want? Was your care provider supportive? How did you handle it if they weren’t supportive? Tell us about your experiences here.