Never make assumptions. One unfortunate assumption my clients sometimes make, when they receive prenatal care from a group practice, is that the provider they have the best relationship with will be at their birth. They fail to take into account that providers work on a rotating schedule, therefore, the one you like the most might be off the day you go into labor.

Now, while I can’t honestly recommend that they switch practices to avoid this scenario, or even tell them not to have a favorite, here’s some sound advice I can offer. Early in your pregnancy discuss the policies and rules for clients who go into labor.

  • Will the provider who attends your birth be based on a schedule?

    Keep a journal with your questions

    Keep a journal with your questions

  • Is each prenatal care provider assigned primary clients whose births they attend?
  • Will your provider even attend your labor or will the birth locations on call staff be responsible for your care?.
  • Will your provider only attend to you once in a while during labor and when it’s time for you to push?

One way to make your pregnancy and birth a satisfying experience is to ask questions up front. I know it’s hard especially when you don’t know what you don’t know. That’s why it’s important to have a helpful person on your birth team. Someone with the wisdom and insight to prompt you to ask good questions. A doula is a good choice for this role. You’ve heard the saying, no question is a dumb question. This is true, however, some questions are better than others.

Good questions, Better questions

Asking good questions prevents misunderstandings and improves your ability to make informed decisions. Let’s review some good questions for your prenatal care provider within a group practice.

  • Which provider will attend my birth?
  • Will the provider(s) who sees me the most during my prenatal care attend my birth?
  • Will the provider(s) from my practice be at the birth place during my entire labor and birth or will they work a specific shift and possibly miss my birth?
  • Will the on-call provider at the birth place be in charge of my care even if my prenatal care provider is there?

Upcoming Training

Knowing your options helps you to make informed decisions about your pregnancy and birth. Join me on August 5th at 12:00pm EST for 9 Tips for Clear & Confident Communication during Prenatal Care Visits tele-seminar. Remember, every healthy birth begins with a conversation. Register now, only one day left.

Yours in health,

Tamara

 

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