If you don’t understand or know your options, you don’t have any options!
While most expecting parents tend to prepare for their birth by buying things for baby, few people take the time to really work on what they’ll need to know and prepare for in labour and birth *hint* most people think they will ‘go with the flow’and that their midwife or OB will tell them what to do. Unfortunately, most of the pregnancy books and prenatal classes for birth just cover the basics – and completely skip talking about advocacy in birth.
Why Is Advocacy SO Important?
Unfortuantely, the healthcare system we are currently in cares more about efficiency, costs, and avoiding litigation than it does about evidence based care and your rights as a pregnant person.
The system is not broken, it is working exactly the way it is supposed to.
As an experienced Birth Doula, I have seen coersion, blantant lies, and bait-and-switch happen in and out of the hospital. It happens more often than not.
It is up to you to arm yourself with knowledge so you are able to make truly informed choices in your pregnancy, labour, and birth.
How to Use Advocacy To Have A Better Birth
Birth is unpredictable. This is true. It is also the reason so many people say not to make a birth plan.
But the WHOLE reason for making a birth plan is so that you KNOW your options, regardless of where your birth journey takes you.
In birth, things can happen quickly. Often times what happens next is not framed as a choice, even though more often than not, you DO have choices!
TRUE informed consent and choices are rarely offered in childbirth today. Oftentimes, providers and nurses will just make matter-of-fact statements to procedures that you have the choice to consent to or decline.
So unless YOU know to ask more questions, or to communicate your needs, you won’t even know there ever was another option (or two or three!).
I talk in more depth about some tips to help you advocate for yourself in birth in my FREE guide below- so you can have a Better Birth!
I honestly wish I didn’t have to teach students about self advocacy in pregnancy and birth. But until there is REAL change in the maternity care system, you NEED to know what you are up against in the birthing system today. I will continue to work towards change and will continue to educate and inform birthers.