Friday, May 17, 2013

Frequently UN-Asked Questions {A Birth Circle Topic}

Write down the questions you have for your pediatrician, midwife or obstetrician        
Trust your gut; ask about the things that worry you on a day to day basis
You feel comfortable and cared for

Excellent! So you think you're ready to get the most out of your provider? But wait! There must be more.  That was for the month of May at the Yavapai County Birth Circle- those frequently un-asked questions. Keep reading to get the scoop..

For Prenatal Appointments

This is your baby, your body, your birth; first and foremost you must look inward.  

Ask yourself                                           
What kind of birth do I want?

What is important to me at my birth?

What are my fears?

Does my care provider listen to my wishes; really listen?

Is my care provider supportive of my wishes?

Finding a care provider who supports you is key. A care provider who doesn't instill fear- rather works to dispel it and can provide comfort for you, managing your fears- this is what's important. When you're pregnant, it seems that everyone in the grocery store wants to tell you their 'horror story' and whether you're a first time mom or this is your fourth go around, those stories can get to you. Your care provider should be that calm in the stormy sea. If you desire a water birth, you must find a care provider who supports that.  If you would like your older children present at the birth, find a care provider who welcomes your older children at your prenatal appointments. When you bring up your birth plan, don't accept a care provider who dismisses it! These things are critical to the birth experience.

Other important questions include
  • What is your birth philosophy?
  • Do you have any plans around my estimated due date?
  • What do you consider high risk?
  • What is your episiotomy rate? Your cesarean rate? Your induction rate?
  • How do I contact you after hours?
Some other topics I find useful to discuss with your care provider include the wonderful word "why"

Why are we doing this test?  Don't just go into your prenatal appointment obliging to tests and procedures because your care provider says so! Ask why?  I'm not saying this to encourage you to be 'difficult' but it's important to understand what the tests being administered are and why they are done.  It is also important to discuss prenatally how your care provider feels about your plans while in labor; most importantly being the pushing positions your care provider is comfortable with. It is also important to find out what policies the hospital you are birthing at employs? Usually it is up to your care provider, so ask things like
  • How do you feel about vaginal exams?
  • How often do you break the bag of waters? and Why?
  • How do you feel about doulas?

For Your Pediatrician

Did you know, there may be office policies that dictate how many issues may be addressed in each appointment?  If you typically come with a few pages full of questions, you may want to ask your pediatrician how many concerns they can address at each appointment. They are there to provide you with comfort and confidence as a parent and while you would love to whack all the moles with one giant hammer, if you did so, you'd be in that office visit for many, many hours. If they answered all our questions is one appointment, we'd walk out more confused that when we walked in and we may have trouble remembering all of their great input! So go in with what worries you the most and pertains to your child right now. Don't be afraid to bring up the subtle changes you've noticed; you are the parent and you know your child.  Leave feeling empowered as a parent and cared for; the limit on the number of topics they take at each appointment ensures that we all aren't rushed through our appointments and we don't leave with an overwhelming amount of information.

Some questions that you really want to get answered include
  • What is your parenting philosophy?
  • How do you feel about vaccinations?
  • Do you recommend a lactation consultant?
  • Do you recommend any good books?
These are some of the questions to ask pediatricians while finding the right one for your family. The answers you receive will give you insight into who this care provider is as a person, behind their medical title. These questions let you know if they mesh with what's important to you for your child.

If you're having a boy, another important factor to consider is whether or not to circumcise. It is best to make this decision prior to the birth; discuss with your pediatrician the risks and benefits of circumcision.  After your baby is born, some important topics may be
  • What is that rash!?
  • Baby led weaning
  • The truth about allergy tests
  • Sleep needs
  • Fevers: where to draw the line
  • Is that poo normal?
Parenting young children can be a confusing time but it is also a very enjoyable time that goes by much faster than any of us would like. How has your pediatrician made your parenting experience more enjoyable?

When you find out you're expecting, it's like the Journey of Life has just begun. How has your midwife or OB empowered you during pregnancy and/or birth?

Other Birth Circle Topics:

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Contact info

Jennifer Valencia | Labor & Postpartum Doula | 928.300.1337


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