Did you choose your medical provider simply because your OB was your GYN or because you got a recommendation from your friends?
A lot of us end up with the OB that we have simply because of what I call a default transfer of care – meaning you already have a relationship with your GYN so why the heck not for OB care too?
Well, the problem with that is that you may share the same values with your GYN when it comes to GYN care, but that DOES NOT automatically mean that you’ll share the same values when it comes to birth.
Personally, I have a GYN that I love because we share the same well-women care values, but honestly, I wouldn’t use her as an OB because I know there are OB’s out there in better alignment with my values on birth.
One of the most common questions that I get asked is “Does it really matter if my doctor is supportive of my birth choices if I’m well educated about birth and I’m hiring a doula?”
Yes, it really matters!
Here’s why you need a supportive medical provider for your birth – one that shares similar values on birth as you:
1) You’re setting yourself up for confrontation in what should be a highly sacred situation if you don’t share the same values or at least get on the same page with your medical provider.
If you’re the type of women that can be fiercely protective, you might find it easy to ward off anyone trying to do anything to you that you’re not ok with.
Personally, I’m that way but most women take a bit more of a passive approach to confrontation. And in the birth room, this isn’t something you’re going to want to have to deal with if you have a doctor explaining all the reasons you “should” get an episiotomy and deep down you are so not ok with it.
Not only does this become a confrontation of wills but…
2) You increase your chances of giving into something you don’t necessarily want because someone disagrees with you
It’s really hard to get into a disagreement or even an argument and even harder to pull out some facts on your iPad when you’re in the middle of pushing your baby out.
So, it’s a lot easier to just give-in and not even start the battle because you can’t physically put up a fight. And even if you could…
3) Your neo-cortex isn’t working all that well in labor and birth and it’s difficult to speak up for yourself in a logical manner and state your case
Your opinions in the middle of labor will be very clear-cut. You can’t think logically or rationally so everything becomes very black and white making your speech and debate skills quite useless.
You’re in your body and your brain can’t think that well so all you can really do is bark out orders and answer yes and no questions.
Having a debate with your doctor isn’t a situation you want to put yourself in if you can at all avoid it. So if you can’t state your argument, your doctor’s gonna do what your doctor’s gonna do…
4) You can have a doula and your partner there to help protect you but ultimately it’s your job to protect yourself by being proactive and only inviting supportive people onto your birth team
You want your space protected. You hire a doula for that and tell your partner what to do if certain situations or confrontations arise with the doctor.
They can sure be helpful and possibly prevent something that you weren’t ok with from happening. But I bet that one thing you don’t want happening is confrontation during your birth experience and the only way to prevent that is to make sure you and your doctor are on the same page beforehand.
So how do you find a doctor that supports your natural birth wishes?
First, you don’t partake in “default transfers of care”, you INTENTIONALLY CHOOSE your doctor instead.
The best way to do this is to get recommendations from friends who’ve had similar birth experiences as you’d like and then set up interview appointments with the doctors that seem to be a good fit.
You get prepared and bring a list of questions beforehand to the visit and interview them like you would an employee for a job! It’s as easy as that.
You’re hiring your medical provider to care for you in the way that is important to you. It’s not the other way around.
Taking the proactive approach of hiring a supportive medical provider can make all the difference in the world for your birth. You need to hire someone in alignment with your values to help you achieve the birth that you envision even if you hire a doula and know a lot about birth too.
Have you experienced a transfer of medical care in the middle or end of pregnancy because you realized your medical provider didn’t share the same values as you (like you wanted a natural birth and somewhere along the way you realized your doctor didn’t support it like you thought)?
Share with us in the comments below what it was like to have to transfer care and if you were happy doing so. Do you feel that you had a better birth experience because you transferred care to someone more in alignment with your birth values?
With so much love,