I'd like to introduce you to Jenn, aka "Baby Makin(g) Machine." Jenn keeps a detailed blog journal of her pregnancy (starting from pre-conception) and has graciously allowed Lamaze to be a part of her pregnancy and birth journey, including sharing snippets of her blogging on Giving Birth with Confidence. In one of her earlier posts, Jenn shares the details of and her feelings from an OB "meet-and-greet" during which she and several of the practice's patients were allowed to ask questions. Below are a few interesting snippets from her post.
After their brief introductions they opened it up to questions. Of course, we were all a little hesitant at first, but one woman who appeared to be a little further along than I had the balls to throw out the first one."I want a natural labor," she said very matter of fact. "How open are you to allowing things to progress without medical interventions?"Wow, well I could cross that question off of my list. A few of the doctors answered her question, including mine, stating they love for us to come in with plans, and if we'd like an unmedicated birth to be up front about it, let the hospital staff know when we get their because they make a special effort to pair certain labor and delivery nurses with women depending on the kind of birth we're going for. All of them said their first and foremost job is to get us our baby safe and sound, and secondly, they want us to have a good experience.
There were questions about stalling in labor, and how long they'll let us go before recommending an intervention, letting the cord pulse for awhile after birth, what positions we can labor in, and if they'd let us walk around. I was honestly quite surprised at the amount of women who had the same questions I did. They each seemed very stern and attentive when listening to the responses.Of course not everyone in the room had the same concerns, there was another group who wanted to know how a scheduled cesarean process would work, and wanted to know how soon, and how late they could get an epidural. But I was amazed at how knowledgeable and confidant so many of these woman were in their desires. I think sometimes we sell ourselves short in assuming women don't do their research... At least I know I have people telling me to do my research ALL the time, when sometimes I feel like saying: "I bet I've done WAY more research than you did when you were having your first baby."I think, or at least I hope, in this day and age women are feeling more empowered, and learning more about labor, but they also aren't feeling the need to hide away in their homes simply because they feel like they can't get the level of care they desire from a hospital and doctor.
Follow along with us as we read more of Jenn's insightful stories and comments on pregnancy and her journey toward motherhood. We'll keep up with her through the rest of her pregnancy and after her [hopefully] June birth (she's due June 30 and hoping to have a June baby!).
Weigh In: Do you consider yourself an "empowered patient?" What were the most important questions you asked your care provider?