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You MUST be proactive in your health care…

Posted by Sandra on August 22, 2008

“I’m at 39 weeks now, and oh how I dread the internal exams I have to have”

“I was SO hungry when I arrived at the hospital to have my baby”

“I hated having to stay in the hospital so long after my baby was born”

“My doctor said she would induce if I went to 41 weeks – I’m low risk!”

“My pediatrician said the baby HAD to have these six shots today”

As I blog more and more, I read about the complaints, concerns, and comments a lot of people are making during their medical care while pregnant, and at other times.

Ladies, PLEASE be proactive in your care.  Your doctor is NOT in charge of it, he is a partner in it – with YOU.  You have a say – in everything.  He does not belong on an unreachable pedestal.  He does not necessarily know what is absolutely best for you, and he does make mistakes.   You need to research, be informed, and make decisions on what YOU want as well.

For an example, those that dread those internal exams after 36 weeks.  Well, then Don’t. Have. Them. Done.  If you have no real MEDICAL reason for them, finding out dilation means zilch, zero, nada, nothing.  Less than nothing.  They don’t indicate when you’ll have the baby, so what’s the point?  Habit.  The docs have a habit.  And the exams can introduce infection, cause spotting or even bleeding, and make you cramp up.  They are NOT necessary.  Say no.  Your doctor will be fine!  If you want them, well fine – but don’t think for a minute that you HAVE to have them.  I’m addressing this to the hundreds of women that I’ve read that complain about them.

Here’s another secret – they’re not necessary when you’re in labor either.  You shouldn’t have 50 people checking your dilation every 5 minutes.   Once or twice the entire time should suffice – if you’re a 2nd time mom, you shouldn’t need any – you will know when to push.

You know what else?  You don’t have to have the IV in labor if you’re low risk.  You can walk.  Non-stop fetal monitoring is not necessary for low risk babies.  Laying down to give birth is not the best way, it’s proven to interfere in the natural process – so GET UP.  Sit up to give birth, tell them the stirrups can go away.   STAND if you want to.  Heck, the “rule” about having to have the baby 24 hours after your water breaking is no longer even in effect!!!  Actually, just stay home most of your labor, and you’ll find that your experience is much better than heading out to the hospital at the first signs…

And yeah, you CAN eat and drink while you’re in a normal labor.  This is an old old practice that was debunked a very long time ago, but for some reasons doctors can’t let it go.  A stomach is never truly empty anyways.

And no, you don’t have to stay in the hospital after your baby is born.  I am shocked at the amount of women that thought they HAD to stay, like it was a law or something.  If everything is fine, go home.  After three or four hours, if everything is cool, GO HOME.   The docs have never had any problems signing me and baby out.

These are just a few examples.  If you go to your doctor armed and informed, he will appreciate your concern about your own health.  Start this way, and you will be proactive in your child’s care too – there’s a lot of choices you get to make as the parent – choices that the docs have no business making without discussing them with you and being a partner in your family’s care.

(I feel obligated to add the disclaimer that yes, there will be exceptions to the rule – I write these things under the assumption of low-risk pregnancies (about 93% of them), healthy babies, etc. etc. – I don’t want 100 comments about you or a friend or a friend’s cousin’s co-worker couldn’t do something, blah blah blah)… 🙂

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One Response to “You MUST be proactive in your health care…”

  1. Jess from BBC said

    I totally agree with you. I agreed with you on alot of point before I had DS, but now I’m in 100% agreement.

    After my dreadful expierence, I’ve decided my next will be a…get ready for this…a home birth. The hospitals in my area REFUSE to treat women like they have a choice, so I considered a birth center, then I realized why would I go to someones house when I can stay at my own? I’m actually really excited about it now. This time around, I get to avoid the induction happy doctors I encoutnered for no reason who were rude when I didn’t agree to get induced at 37 weeks, the nurses who would come in my room 3 at a time & all 3 want to check my cervix right then, the IV’s & wires for no reason & being unable to go to the bathroom without permission, asking permission to drink & being told no for no reason even AFTER DS was born, & even now being allowed to wash my hair…yes, I had a nurse tell me not to wash my hair for a few days because I’d “pass out.” Same nurse who told me to stop taking to DH when I was pushing because she & another nurse were trying to talk…about who grew up in a more “redneck” area. Dead serious. Again, I had zero medical complications. If anything, the 41 week induction I was pressured into caused the long labor & hours of pushing…he wasn’t ready yet & neither was my body.

    And I never had any pain or anything when I was pregnant…until at 36 weeks when I had the group b test & I let the doctor check me. From then on, I was crampy & it hurt to walk up & down our stairs. Everytime I did it, it felt liek that weird crampy feeling you get when you get a PAP test. Maybe it was just because, but I know when I left the house I was fine & after that something as simple as going upstairs made me hurt. So yes, I blame that check.

    And for those reasons, I’ve already found a midwife I’ll be using & it’s very likely I’ll be doing it at home. Plus, it will freak out the inlaws, so that’s a bonus. :b

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