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Pregnant? How to Partner with Health Care Providers

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

Hmmmm. Obstetricians, family doctors, midwives, doulas, pediatricians, and a host of chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, lactation consultants, and many more.

If you've never given birth before, how are you supposed to know what you want, or which is best for you?

Know Yourself!

I hope you've read my blog about partnering with yourself. We'll start there. Take a deep breath, and know you can do this! You'll find out what you need to know. I'll help you get started with a few tips.

Do you have any strong preferences already? For example, as a doula, I've supported a few clients who absolutely know they won't or can't get an epidural. So they hired a doula, and learned about other methods of pain management to help them cope well with labour.

But you may not have any preferences yet. You might feel a little lost. When you find out information about birth, you'll start to develop an idea of what is important to you. So attend prenatal classes, read or listen to a couple of books, and you'll soon start to develop an idea of what sort of birth you'd like. Because you count. Your opinion matters!

My prenatal classes help you to find out what's important to you and your partner. I also have a book on it's way. Book a discovery call with me and let's chat about how I can support you!

Find a Philosophy of Birth Management that Resonates With You

Write down your options. In some parts of the world, midwives attend all low risk births. In that case, your options might be birth center, hospital, or home birth. In many places, people can choose either midwives or obstetricians. You may have a choice of hospitals and/or birth centers. Write down your top two or three options. Then do the research. Here's some questions to get you started. What are their rates of interventions? Do they support the type of birth you want? Are epidurals available around the clock? Do they have nitrous oxide (happy gas) available as an alternative? What are their rules, or standard practice, for how they manage birth? Do they allow you to eat and drink? Will you have an IV? Do they allow you to labour or even give birth in water? As you learn more about birth, develop your own set of questions to ask. Find the Health Care Provider who best matches your philosophy, and your desires. It's also important that you like them and feel liked! Because feeling safe helps you to give birth more easily. Reviews will help you to choose. And remember, it is ok to change practices part way through the pregnancy if you realize the one you've chosen is not a good fit (I did that with my fourth pregnancy, and was so glad I did!)

Do You Want to Add Extra Help?

Whether you'll have a hospital birth, or a home birth, or a birth center birth, a midwife or an obstetrician, you can add other health care partners.

In my unbiased opinion, a doula is a fantastic addition to any birth plan. Doulas aren't responsible for your medical care. They are there to support you with information, but most importantly they support you emotionally and physically. They stay at your side during labour, and help you to feel better. They help you to find good positions to labour in, and using their hands and heart, make you and your partner more comfortable. Some (like me) offer prenatal instruction and postpartum visits.

Chiropractors who specialize in pregnancy can help your body to stretch and open in preparation for the big day! Massage therapists can help with the aches and pains. Aromatherapy can help before and during labour. Acupressure can help during labour to relieve pain and promote stronger contractions - and a practitioner can show your birth partner how to do some simple treatments. Physiotherapists can help after the birth, to help your body to heal.

Listen to yourself, and choose what appeals to you!

Baby Needs Health Care Providers Too!

Your baby needs a care provider in the early days. It's very important that baby gets checked for weight gain in the early days and weeks! Find out how baby's doctor handles feeding difficulties in the early days. A practice that is supportive of breastfeeding will have strong ties to breastfeeding clinics and lactation consultants. And, as with other providers, you should like them. This relationship will be a long term partnership. So check out those reviews, and pay attention to how you feel in their presence!

Babies also may benefit from a private lactation consultant if you need extra help with breastfeeding.

Chiropractors and Osteopaths treat fussy babies. Find one who specializes! And read those reviews.

The Bottom Line

You get to decide. You get to choose which Health Care Provider meets yours and your baby's needs. You get to change providers if you need to. It's based on your values and your feelings! You should feel supported and heard and valued when you interact with your Health Care Providers. And you have the right to receive excellent care. Ask questions, do the research, and find the right partnerships for you and your baby.

With Love,


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