Talking to Your Doctor About Your Upcoming DeliveryYay! You’re pregnant.
It’s one of the most joyous times in your life, but it can also be stressful. Finding the right doctor is vitally important. Pregnancy is not a one-size-fits-all life event, so how do you communicate with your doctor to make sure that your desires for your delivery are heard?
Ultimately, find a doctor or midwife you feel comfortable with and trust. Once that's in place, here are 5 tips for making sure your delivery goes as smoothly as possible.
PlanningIt’s important that you do your research and know what type of birth/delivery you want.
Over the first few months of pregnancy:
- Figure out what type of delivery you want (with or without pain medication)
- Consider hiring a doula
- Write a birth plan and go over it with your doctor/midwife and your significant other
Come PreparedYou will typically only have about 20 minutes or less with your care provider at each appointment as long as everything is on track with both you and your baby. Therefore, it’s important that you come prepared with questions and concerns you have.
When I was pregnant, I would write down my questions in the note function of my phone. By doing that, I was quickly able to ask and get answers during my appointments.
Be RealisticYou don’t want to plan for a water birth in a hospital that doesn’t have water tubs. Be confident and decisive with your decisions, but don’t be unrealistic.
Also remember, even the best thought-out plan cannot anticipate ALL the possibilities that accompany the birth experience. Trust that your doctor or midwife will do what's best for you and your baby to ensure a safe delivery. Keep in mind that what's required for a safe delivery may not match your birth plan. Try to be flexible.
Voice Concerns In a Timely MannerIf you have a concern, don’t wait 3 months to discuss it. Speak up immediately. If your care provider is suggesting something that you are not comfortable with, ask questions. Find out the evidence-based pros and cons to what he/she is suggesting. Also, ask about alternatives that you may feel more comfortable with.
Know When You Need to Find Someone Else
If you have concerns or are not comfortable with your doctor or midwife, consider switching to a care provider who you are comfortable with. Know that it’s never too late to switch.
Pregnancy is a joyous time in your life and for those around you, but being prepared and communicating during this time is critical for your emotional health, now as well as later. Remember, that things can happen during any pregnancy, so communicating your desires up front and having a trusted care provider will ensure everything goes as smoothly as it can.
Updated June 6, 2016