The big day is finally here, you spent a few hours at home, bouncing on your birthing ball and breathing during contractions. Your contractions grew stronger, longer and more frequent, so you jumped in the car and headed to the hospital. You’re now bent over the front desk, huffing and puffing your way through another contraction, as your partner rubs your back while trying not to collapse under the weight of the three colour coordinated hospital bags you brought.
As your healthcare provider ushers you into your room and tells you to make yourself at home, your mind might be focused on other things. By this point, you may have forgotten the list of things you wanted to ask your healthcare provider. Of course, your healthcare provider will have a copy of your pregnancy notes, and this should include a birth plan; but birthing centres are busy places, so it’s always worth reiterating the important information in person. Make sure you tell your healthcare provider the following:
- The type of birth you want – you don’t need to sit down and give a detailed and lengthy description including backing music and desired lighting, but it is worth giving a general outline. Would you like a water birth or active birth? What sort of positions would you like to try? Try to keep an open mind on the day, though. Remember, things can change.
- Your desired pain relief – remember, this could all go out of the window because it’s impossible to predict how you will find labour, but you can give an idea of your thoughts on pain relief. If you’re hoping for a natural birth, your healthcare provider will try to support you in this plan. Alternatively, if you are hoping for an epidural, it is helpful to know this is a possibility so arrangements can be made with the necessary medical staff.
- Your birth partner’s role – whether you want your partner to massage your back, get you drinks or sing your praises during labour, you should let your healthcare provider know in advance. Some birth partners may feel overwhelmed on the day, and forget to carry out certain roles, but your healthcare provider can help to involve them in the process if you state your wishes in advance.
- Anything out of the ordinary – if you have experienced vaginal bleeding, or noticed a brown tinge to your mucus plug or amniotic fluid, you should inform your healthcare provider immediately. While it may be nothing to worry about, your healthcare provider needs to be fully informed about your situation to provide you with the best care.
- How you feel about interventions – if you feel very strongly that you would like to avoid interventions, such as episiotomies, you should state this in advance. Of course, your healthcare provider is charged with safely delivering your baby, and sometimes interventions are unavoidable. However, knowing in advance that you want to avoid medical interventions may cause your medical team to question whether an intervention is really necessary before making a decision.
Finally, it never hurts to say thank you at the end. If you feel that you had the best care possible, and will be eternally grateful to your fantastic healthcare provider, let them know. Send them a card thanking them for their hard work. It’s always nice to feel appreciated.
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Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.