Bait and Switch

Some mothers and/ or fathers get to that time in their pregnancy where they begin to realize their provider has been leading them on or they feel their provider no longer supports their birth preferences. Here are some helpful suggestions in recognizing the bait and switch of care providers.

#1 When searching for a provider, and you get referrals for one or a few, ask the person who referred you why they love them. What if they loved them because they will do a scheduled cesarean no questions asked but that is not your plan. Or maybe they loved them because they would induce early. "Thanks Kelly for the recommendation, but what was so wonderful about your doctor/midwife?"

#2 Ask questions, a lot of questions. How does the doctor or midwife respond? Do they sit down and listen to you and show empathy,sympathy, joy,etc?  Or do their egos seem to be the priority? Sometimes how they answer is a sign far more revealing then what they answer.  "How much choice do I have in decision making? Do you foresee any problems with my birth preferences? In what situations do you recommend a cesarean?"

#3 Discuss your birth preferences often. Think of the three most important things of your birth preferences, after healthy mom and healthy baby. For example, let's imagine your top goals are vaginal birth, unmedicated and skin to skin. Ask your provider how he or she will support you to achieve your goal. As you discuss your birth preferences frequently, watch out for how different providers in a practice respond and if they change their answers when you talk to them.

#4 Watch out for emotional manipulation. What does that look like? A provider who says, "we allow you to" or "we will let you." A great provider recognizes that the woman is giving birth and doing the work, not themselves. They recognize it is about the mother, father and baby. They also recognize and tell you what you can be doing and that he or she believes in you. The provider is not telling you what you can't do. Remember you donot need permission to labor and birth.

#5 Trust your intuition! What is your mind telling you? "I don't feel like this provider is supporting my wishes" or "I feel like my provider is encouraging me in my decisions." Trust what your mind, body and even baby are telling you.