Is it dangerous to negotiate with a doctor? What if I make the wrong decision?

Is it dangerous to negotiate with a doctor? What if I make the wrong decision?

Statistics show that not all common medical recommendations are leading to better outcomes. Sometimes doctors and midwives do what is convenient or locally acceptable, even if studies show it is not the best choice. After all, sometimes you make a decision on what is easier for your family or partner to accept rather than what seems best for you. We are all human. On the other hand, you are an individual and not a group. Your situation is individual. You will make decisions on the information you have and the support you feel in either staying with the medical routine or asking for individual care for what is best for you and your baby. Being a responsible adult means taking the risk of doing the wrong thing. You can change your mind, you can change it back. You can see how far you get. Most of the time when we are under stress people pick what thier loved ones and the experts are comfortable with, not what makes sense logically or intuitively. Stress causes most of us to draw close to one another. If your support people rely on routines for their sense of safety it will be hard for you in labor to stay out of their comfort zone.

If I ask the doctor or midwife to do something different, will I lose their support when I need them the most?

Your doctor and midwife want you to have a positive birth memory. They want to help you to have a safe and healthy birth. You want that too. When you differ on how that will happen, most often it is because the medical staff doesn’t realize what things will help you have a happy memory.

Staff are busy with many, many tasks and can often forget what a monumental day this is for you. Just remind them and let them feel that they can be your hero. Humor works for some, and respectful talk works for everyone. A Birth Plan helps the medical staff understand how they can add personal touches to the sometimes routine care in a busy hospital.

Just because you asked for a change from the usual routine doesn’t mean the doctor or midwife will punish you or stop being respectful. Talk about it. If you are worried, state your worry. You can say, “Doctor, I want to continue to work with you but I do not want to be induced early (or whatever your concern is). What else can we do to meet your concerns and what are you willing to do to meet mine?”

Ask why a procedure is being recommended.

What the risks are with the procedure. What the risks are if you don’t do it. If you decide to wait, what should you watch for. Are there alternatives? If there are, as the same questions about the alternative.

Make a relationship with your care giver by being open and talking about yoru concerns but also about what you would like to see happen. If you are flexible, willing to change if medical needs become apparent, then the caregivers will see you are willing to work with them. They know that they can help you with the skills they have.

If you want something different than the skills your doctor has, you may need to bring in a person who does. A doula can help you with the goal of a natural birth, for instance, when an obstetrician may be willing to support that goal but not have the time or training to give practical help.

Sometimes, you may have to change caregivers to find someone who can work respectfully with you. When you look back at your birth in five years, do you want to remember a respectful relationship or being afraid to change? But talk to your doctor first, don’t assume they can’t support a change. It is up to you to bring it up and follow it up.