So ladies, how many of you had your birth all planned out before you got pregnant? Not your fantasy of birth but actually knew who your care provider would be, where your birth would happen, your wants and needs for comfort and care during your labor, and what your insurance would cover and how much would be out of pocket? If this is you then pat yourself on the back. Seriously, you deserve it.
The truth is that the majority of women are focused on getting pregnant and not how to GET THE BABY OUT until they have to. Usually this occurs some time after the first trimester, closer to the third. Unfortunately, this doesn't allow much time to switch things up if you discover that your care provider does not support your birth plan/ beliefs about birth.
Many of us mistakenly assume that we can just follow what the doctor tells us and the doctor will do what's best for us so we don't question a lot. Guess what? While your doctor does care that your baby arrives safely, HOW that baby gets there is not always their priority.
Hospitals and insurance companies hold doctors to certain standards and protocols that are designed to minimize the chance of being sued and to keep patient costs down. These protocols don't necessarily take into consideration the emotional and physical needs of the mother during labor and birth. While this trend is changing, we a have a long way to go as a nation.
Ideally, you should explore your attitudes and beliefs toward birth and find the right care provider for you BEFORE you get pregnant. While that isn't an option for many of us it needs to be an early priority.
It needs to be followed up with making sure to choose a doctor or midwife who values and supports your birth choices as well as those of the hospital/birth center they have priveleges at. If they don't align with your vision it is your choice to find someone who does or to change your vision. Early planning gives you the time to get your ducks in a row.
It takes time to sift through the multitudes of information out there. (Tip: check-out the recommended reading lists and resources on various birth professionals' sites such as ours, and look for the most prevalent titles as a good starting point.) Your doula can help point you in the direction of resources as well.
Take charge and prepare your self to be an active participant in your birth rather then allowing someone else to decide what's best for you. It's Your body, Your baby, Your birth.
Good Luck and God Bless,