Thursday, June 14, 2007

Preparing for Birth, Part 2

Find a doctor or midwife you’re comfortable with

Do not, I repeat, do not settle for someone you aren’t comfortable with unless you absolutely must. Just because you started going to one does not mean you can’t find a different doctor. Of course, if you switch too late in pregnancy it’s harder to find someone who will take you on, but probably not impossible.

I always thought I wanted a woman doctor. I tried one and she was awful. So I switched to a grandfatherly, experienced, laid-back gentleman who had delivered a zillion babies. He was the best. When I moved, that’s what I looked for again. I asked around until I heard of someone that sounded like a good fit. As it turned out, he was.

I have a litmus test for my doctors. He can’t perform abortions. I’m sorry, but I just can’t handle the thought of someone who kills babies helping mine come into the world alive. I’ve always had Christian OB’s which has been a great blessing too. I feel more comfortable with someone who believes in the power of prayer and will hopefully be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Remember, the doctor works for you

I’m leery of the medical profession because I see so much playing God among doctors. A nurse told me recently that they tell them point blank in nursing school that half the time doctors are just guessing at diagnosis. So be informed, do your own research, and remember that the doctor is working for you in this natural process of birth. I’m grateful for doctors who save so many lives, but in low risk situations, understand your options and stand your ground. In short, don’t be bullied by a doctor or medical staff.

A personal example: Unless my baby is in distress, I won’t be induced. Do I get pressure? Of course. But having done the research, I believe that—barring a medical emergency—baby should come when he or she is good and ready. Having a last birth at just 2 hours solidifies my view even more. I believe it’s easier when nature takes its course, and I’m willing to take a stand for this.

Use a birth environment you’re comfortable with

If you’re having a hospital birth, find a doctor who delivers in a hospital with a good reputation. My doctor mainly delivers at a huge, usually overcrowded hospital in town that frankly has a reputation for inadequate care. (Blunt version: We hear horror stories.) However, he personally has a stellar record and is willing and able to deliver at the small Catholic hospital down the street. That’s what we chose, and the care has been personal and excellent.

Of course there are other options too: birth centers and home. Seek the guidance of God and determine with your husband where you should deliver. My mom friend Jenny (who has birthed 8 babies) reminded me, “Jesus is in the hospital too.” My hospital births have been great, but I attribute it mainly to choosing good ones and being informed and proactive. And I believe that God has led us to the places where he wanted me to give birth.


Jen said...

I agree with your part 2--especially about being comfortable with your choices. I have a friend who would have beenjust as afraid to deliver in a hospital as I would have bene to deliver at home. Most choices are fine and God has creative ways of bringing HIs children into the world!

My Boaz's Ruth said...

I just found out yesterday with the midwife that my hospital doesn't do elective inductions. They are too busy.

I chose my hospital because it was near work, (as well as not that far away from home) in case I go into labor at work. But he more I hear about it, the more pleased I am with our choice. They encourage breastfeeding -- and skin to skin contact between mom and baby in the first hour after birth! All the tests are done right there in the room with you, and they've got a good security setup without even taking the baby away.

THey have people in the hospital to help with getting a good latch, as well as a regular postpartum checkup with their lactation nurses to see how baby is doing at nursing a couple of days later. (and you can make appointments beyond that if you have problems)

the baby rooms in with the mother and father for the entire time you are in the hospital unless there are medical problems (and it sounds like some medical problems do not block the rooming in stuff. It depends on what is going on)