Have you ever stopped to think about what you really want (and deserve) from your pregnancy, birth and postpartum care experience? Not what is familiar, but what would check every box: care that is safe, satisfying, and empowering and that recognizes birth for what it is – a deeply personal and meaningful event that transforms a family?
We encourage you to pause for a minute and read through the list below. Make a note of the factors that matter most to you, and any that seem missing from your current care. If your current care provider isn’t delivering what is important to you, it might be time to research your options. It is easier than you might think to switch practices, and well worth it if you aren’t getting the care you deserve. If you are newly pregnant, this is an excellent exercise to help you to focus on what questions to ask the providers at the practices where you are considering care.
Do I feel heard and valued?
- Do I feel like a person, not a number?
- Are my concerns addressed and taken seriously?
- Does my provider take time to answer my questions and get to know me and my family?
Do I feel educated and empowered to successfully navigate my birth experience?
- Am I encouraged to actively participate in my care?
- Are there classes and other educational experiences?
- Is there time in appointments for education and discussion?
- Does the team provide educational resources to access between visits?
Is a range of birth options available and supported?
- Natural/unmedicated birth?
- Water birth?
- Doula support?
- Movement and upright positions during labor?
- Undisturbed bonding time after birth?
- Midwife or physician care?
- Hospital or birth center delivery?
Does my family feel welcome and included?
- Are they welcomed and included in visits and classes?
- Is there enough room for family members at visits and toys for children to play with?
- Are there options to include family, including kids, during birth?
Do I have the opportunity to connect with other moms and families?
- Support groups?
- Family-friendly events and meet-ups?
Do I feel that I will have the support that I need after delivery?
- 24/7 access to clinical support?
- Home visit option?
- Parenting and postpartum wellness classes?
- Breastfeeding support?