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Finding the perfect healthcare provider for your prenatal care needs can be tricky. But once you’ve found the one, it’s almost like you’ve found a pot of gold. One you never want to let go of.
Your journey throughout pregnancy and birth is a delicate one that requires the highest level care, dedication, attention. Did you know that you can fire your OB at any time if you aren’t happy with the level care being provided to you?
In fact, it’s well within your right to fire your OB mid-contraction just like this mom did!
Throughout this post you’ll find the experiences of 11 brave moms who fired their OBs mid-pregnancy and 10 warning signs indicating that you should fire your OB.
10 Warning Signs That You Should Fire Your OB
Doesn’t Provide You With Evidence Based Care
Evidence-based care (EBF) or Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) requires that decisions about health care are based on the best available, current, valid and relevant evidence. These decisions should be made by those receiving care, informed by the tacit and explicit knowledge of those providing care, within the context of available resources. (source)
For you to make an informed decision and be provided with the best possible care, the practice of evidence-based care requires these 3 things to be in effect:
– Your healthcare provider’s expertise and experience
– Your desires, values, and expectations
– Evidence from research
You have the right and are entitled to receive evidence-based care during pregnancy, birth, and beyond. Any questions or concerns you may have regarding a certain prescription or procedure should be acknowledged by your HCP and explained in a way that makes you confident in your decision. All of this should happen so that you can provide informed consent (IC) or refusal.
A devastating example of non-EBC and non-IC would be Kelly’s story. A mom whose vagina was cut 12 times during birth. She was given an episiotomy— an outdated, non-evidence-based practice— against her will.
The doctor completely disregarded the 3 pillars of evidenced-based practice and she was denied the right to practice informed consent.
It you’re body, your baby, your birth, and ultimately your choice. Don’t let anyone rob you of your right to receive evidence-based care, and to practice informed consent/refusal.
“She tried to force me to do certain tests and wasn’t listening to me when I told her I didn’t want to be touched during labor”
Doesn’t Support Your Birth Plan
Imagine having a birth plan and being excited, optimistic and prepared for birth; only to have eyes rolled at you because you want to an unmedicated birth.
A birth plan empowers you to have YOUR best birth. Sure, things may not go exactly as planned. But aside from honoring your wishes, the purpose of a birth plan is to provide your birth team with a blue print of your ideal birth.
It’s important that you are supported in the decisions you make for yourself and for your baby is important because it gives you a sense of support you need.
“She mentioned a c-section and possibly inducing me at my 16 week appointment. I didn’t even know what I was having yet. She laughed when I said I wanted a natural birth.” -Keitia
Has a High C-Section Rate
For a long time now the WHO has considered the ideal rate for cesarean sections to be between 10-15%. If you’re planning on having a natural birth especially in a hospital setting, you’ll want to know what your doctor’s c-section rate is. If you’re provider’s rate is higher than you’re comfortable with, you may want to find someone new.
“I fired my OB at 10 weeks cause he was talking about me getting an induction before he left for vacation near my due date.”
Rushes Your Appointments
Rushed appointments may not leave you with enough time to discuss your concerns, or even to get to know your doctor. Getting through the standard prenatal care assessments (blood pressure, weight check…) may end up taking most of your appointment time, and you may be left feeling empty, frustrated, and neglected by your healthcare provider. If you aren’t able to get a feel for your doctor or even get your concerns and questions addressed, it may be time to find a new provider.
“I switched providers around 20 weeks. It was the best decision I ever made! The OB had delivered my first and although it was a fairly good experience, there was a lot I did not know then that I knew with the second. There were things about her that just did not sit well with me after the first baby. With the second baby, I wanted to go natural and I did not feel she would be supportive or make it easy for me. I started reading all the books I could find and decided to hire a doula for support. I had my second baby at home. It was the most amazing, surreal experience of my life.”
There Is No Chemistry
Do you really want someone with whom you have no chemistry join you on one of the most important journey’s of your life? Pregnancy and childbirth are going to be one of the most memorable experiences you go through. It’s important that you have a healthcare provider that you connect well with. Someone who is involved and invested in your journey, someone who looks at you as more than a patient but as a human being. If there is no chemistry between the two of you, fire your ob.
“I switched care providers at 30 weeks from a traditional American OBGYN to German midwife-based care and I’m so glad I did. The OBGYNs bullied a friend of mine into the vitamin K shot. The Dr. said “I won’t deliver your baby if you don’t do it”. I knew I had to make a change. I got to have an unmedicated water birth with my midwives and didn’t get any grief about declining anything”
Has Poor Reviews
Another great way to get to know how a doctor or midwife is viewed in your community, is through reviews. Look out for the lengthier in-depth reviews. You may be able to pick up some cues, for example: “Can never be reached on the phone….rushed appointments, condescending…”. Your experience may be different than there’s, but being aware of those issues early on is important.
“I switched at 15 weeks. At my first appointment, the doctor made a comment about how small I was and then immediately noted how there ORs are right across from the delivery rooms. I also had hyperemesis gravidarum. I was treated like I was stupid when questioning the safety of the medication she wanted to prescribe. I fired her and switched to an amazing midwife!”
Is Too Intervention Happy
Most healthy women are able to labor on their own without the need of intervention. With alarmingly high c-section and maternal death rates in developed countries like the U.S., it’s important to find a care provider who views (and treats) birth as the natural physiological event that it is.
Even some of the most seemingly harmless birth practices can negatively impact your childbirth experience. If your provider has no problem intervening during labor when it is not clearly necessary, fire them.
“I switched providers at 10 weeks cause he was talking induction before he left for vacation near my due date.” –Melissa
Pregnancy & Birth Philosophy Does Not Align With Yours
Whatever your philosophies surrounding pregnancy and birth, it’s important that you find someone whose ideas surrounding these, align with yours. Being in-sync with your care provider will make for an easier and much more enjoyable experience.
“I switched at 38 weeks, when my OB’s colleague mocked my birth plan. I decided to go with a midwife instead and had a homebirth at 42 weeks!”
Dismisses Your Concerns
Any healthcare provider who dismisses your concerns, whether “big” or small”, should be fired. Your concerns and questions matter and nearly every decision you make regarding your pregnancy are going to be influenced in some way by the expertise and information given by your provider. It’s important to find someone who can address those concerns respectfully and professionally.
“I had a medical condition that was impacting my personal and work life, and I brought my concerns up to my doctor. He told me, “There have been pregnant women before you and there will be others after you. You can work without any problems”.I fired him and chose different OB. The remaining 4 months of pregnancy were peaceful.” -Keshana
Has a Large Practice
This may not always be a deal-breaker, but in some instances, a large practice it can leave you wanting more. The doctor may not have the time to provide you with the personalized care you need. You may also end up seeing several different doctors throughout your pregnancy, and not know exactly who will be with you on the day you give birth. Intimate and personalized care is one of the benefits of having a midwife!
“He explained to me how he’s a busy man with 5 kids & a wife and probably wouldn’t be there to deliver my daughter if I gave birth in the wee hours of the morning or middle of the night. He kept suggesting that I meet other OB’s and I took his advice and left.” -Tiearra
Tip: If you do need to find another OB, make sure you find another care provider before you leave the one you are currently with.
I hope you enjoyed this post!
Until next time,
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