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2:24 min| 979 views
You know yourself and your body best. Advocate for your needs during your pregnancy by finding accurate information, asking questions, creating a birth plan, and more.
Having a healthy pregnancy and baby is a team effort that involves you and your health are providers. Being an active participant in the kind of care and support you think will work optimally for you will help you have the best pregnancy and birth possible. Here are some tips for getting the kind of care you want.
First, research your potential provider or practice to get a sense of their philosophy. Also, think about which aspects of your care are most important to you, and how those goals might be met. Finally, make a birth plan, or preferences guide. It is best to discuss this with your provider before labor begins.
There's a lot of information out there in the digital age, and it's easy to get overwhelmed by it. Here are some tips on how to get accurate information that will help you make decisions. You can do your own research, so talk to friends, read blogs, and explore the Internet. Do consider the sources you're reviewing and what biases – such as corporate sponsorship – might be influencing their recommendations. Regardless of where you're getting your information, make sure the article provides solid references and is medically accurate.
When you're communicating directly with your provider, don't be afraid to ask if there's medical evidence for a recommendation, or if it is just the provider's practice preference. Asking lots of questions will always serve you well on your pregnancy journey. That said, after many years of training and experience, your providers will have advice for you, but always push them to explain the why.
Finally, I'd like to share a few additional tips to make sure you have the best experience possible. Make sure your doctor knows about any prior pregnancies, surgeries, chronic conditions, or risk factors for your pregnancy. Ask for and keep copies of your medical records, because different doctors and offices don't always share info. And finally, it's a good idea to bring a partner or a friend to appointments because it can be hard to process complex information by yourself. It can be helpful to take notes. No one knows your body better than you. Let us know how we can best support you along your pregnancy journey.
Video production by Paige Bierma.