Choosing an OB or Midwife that is perfect for YOU
One of the most important things that we discuss in your prenatal meetings will be your satisfaction with your obstetrician or midwife. There should never be any pressure from your doula to switch care providers, but instead an open and honest conversation about how they are serving you. If you are pregnant and have yet to decide on an OB or midwife, you are in the perfect position to set the intention and precedent for your birth. If you already have an OB or midwife then it would be wise to evaluate if your current choice is meeting your expectations.
It is common for women to to roll right into prenatal care with their OBGYN that they had before they were pregnant, and while this does work well for many women, others find that while they were well served before, they would like a different experience for birth. If you are feeling unease about your relationship with your doctor or midwife, I would urge you to reach out to them and discuss this. If you aren’t feeling comfortable asking them questions in their office, fully clothed, fully present in mind and while they have your full attention, then you should expect to have the same hesitation while in labor. While you’re pushing your baby out is not the ideal time to start asking questions about your doctor’s opinion on episiotomies. Hopefully you feel more comfortable after talking to your doctor, but if you don’t I can assure you that there is a doctor or midwife who can meet your needs and will take time to answer your questions. Unfortunately, the standard of care has shifted toward efficiency, which often leaves women without the time or opportunity to develop a solid relationship with their care provider. There are, however, providers who will be excited that you want to be actively involved in your own care and they will take the time to support that and reassure you. If they don’t, I’d suggest searching for a new provider.
If you find yourself in the market for a new provider, then you should ask them some questions. Another local doula Jennifer Kula of Mindful Mama Birth Services created this super helpful infographic. Don’t feel obligated to ask every question. Research what is on this list and determine what is the most important to you and start with those. If it goes well, then keep asking more questions as you feel comfortable.
You can find this infographic and other great posts on her website: https://mindfulmamabirthing.com