Sunday, July 14, 2024

Choosing Your Birth Team

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Choosing Your Obstetrician

Your journey through pregnancy and your baby’s journey into the world are among the most important events in your life. And your partner and family too. It’s vital you choose an obstetrician who supports shared decision making, while maintaining a strong view about patient safety as the prime concern. You need to be able to build trust in your obstetrician. Plans may need to change, sometimes as a matter of urgency such as during labour. It’s important that you understand why your obstetrician may recommend a different treatment plan. This will be for the safety and wellbeing of you and your baby. Developing a trusting relationship with your obstetrician means that you are working together towards the shared goal of a healthy mum and baby, so it is important to keep all of this in mind when choosing your birth team.

More information on obstetrics

Choosing Your Paediatrician

Choosing a paediatrician, is much like choosing your family doctor. Generally, you want to maintain that relationship throughout your baby’s childhood.

Most Important Advice – Meet Them!

It’s difficult to choose a relationship on paper or screen, so go and meet the paediatricians. You’ll get far more of a feel for which one is right for you and your child when you are face-to-face. You’ll want to ask them a series of questions to be a bit more objective than ‘I like them’ but liking them is important too.

You should probably ask other Mums and Dads too. But when doing so, remember that they are different people with different requirements. But asking around is an excellent way of finding out things like:

  • How accessible they are
  • Did you feel reassured by their care and advice?
  • Did they get on well with the children?

Choosing Your Support During Birth

It has been shown that support in labour is important in reducing stress hormones and anxiety. Stress hormones make contraction less efficient. This is why it’s important to reduce stress as much as possible and also it is important in choosing your birth team. If both you and the people supporting you understand the birth process. Ensure everyone understands your birth preferences. And understands why plans may need to change during labour. Doing this will help put you in the best frame of mind for this time.

Most women will want to be supported by their partner in labour. Of course, your partner is excited to meet the baby too. You may want support from a friend or family member as an alternative. Another option is to have a doula to support you. A doula is experienced in supporting women in labour but usually isn’t a trained midwife.

Once you have decided you will be with you at the birth, it’s a good idea to make sure they understand what will be happening and their role in supporting you.

More Advice on Choosing Your Birth Team

It’s also worth checking out help, advice, and any choosing your birth team posts in our Baby Facebook Group. It allows you to ask questions, gain access to basic advice and share experiences with others facing the same new experiences. You can join here:

about the author

Dr Lisa Joels
Dr Lisa Joels
OBSTETRICIAN & GYNAECOLOGIST - Dr Lisa Joels (MB ChB, MD, FRCOG, FHEA) has 34 years’ experience in obstetrics and gynaecology including 19 years as a Consultant working in Swansea (2001-11) and subsequently at the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundations Trust in the UK (2011-20). These are both University teaching hospitals, each having more than 4,000 deliveries a year and providing tertiary obstetric and neonatal services as well as gynaecological services to their local population. Dr Joels has experience in management of complex obstetric and gynaecological problems including a multi-disciplinary approach and working closely with related specialties such as midwifery, neonatology, paediatrics and anaesthetics. She believes in a woman-centred holistic approach to clinical management and is an advocate for patient choice and shared decision making.

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