If you are feeling pressured into unexpected interventions, here are some tips to help you navigate.
- Schedule an appointment with your provider. Bring along your partner or support person.
- Help your doctor understand your goals for labor and delivery. Be specific and role-play before hand, if needed.
- Be sure you understand your doctor's concerns and reasoning. Come to the table trying to better understand her position, not trying to change her mind. She may have very good reasons to suggest an intervention - give her a chance to explain. Listen and practice patience.
Don’t feel you need to make a decision during the appointment. You can thank your provider for her guidance, and tell her you’ll decide soon.
At this point, you’ll need to make a choice:
- Accept your provider’s plans
- Continue negotiating
- Find a new provider
Of the factors you can control, your choice of care provider has a tremendous impact on the outcome of your birth. Finding a good fit is vital. But depending on how far along you are, finding a new provider may not be an option.
If you aren’t able to find a like-minded practice that will accept you late in your pregnancy, you’ll need to continue to communicate and negotiate with your care provider. You may also need to accept some of the interventions she is urging. Good communication and seeking understanding is key.
When I have a client in this position, I give them information and help them work through their options. We weigh the risks of the intervention and discuss how to preserve the provider-patient relationship. We work through various scenarios and role-play interaction.
I discourage “hiding your head in the sand.” You should have a clear plan of action and know how your provider will respond. Most providers are willing to work with a patient who is well informed, knows the risks and benefits of intervention, and is reasonable in their expectations. Getting to that point may take effort, but the time spent usually pays off when labor and delivery goes more smoothly.