Thursday, 24 October 2013

Changing Hospitals/Clinics Late in Your Pregnancy

Many women get attached to their caregivers in the sense that they don't want anyone else delivering their baby. Some have even gone as far as submitting to a C-section because their doctor was going out of town and they'd rather have their doctor perform a C-section than give birth vaginally with another doctor.

I believe these three tips can help women get the birth they want.
1. Choose their caregiver wisely and find someone who agrees with them.
2. Get a doula. They're worth their weight in gold.
3. Labor at home as long as possible. The clock is your worst enemy.

Here in Korea, and even back home, doctors are superstar doctors! That means that while you're in labor (average time is 18 hours for first time moms) you're probably not going to see your doctor at all: most of the time you'll have nurses attending you. When the main event comes, ie, when you birth your baby, the doctor will come in, deliver the baby, check to make sure everything's all right, and leave. That's it. A couple minutes, maybe a half hour, and then the doctor leaves. You'll spend most of your time with the nurses.

Some women aren't 100% happy with their caregivers but would rather stick with them than change. It's up to you, but you should trust your gut. I read Mama Cairo's blog and found three reasons to switch doctors.

Reason 1: Your doctor brushes you off and doesn't answer their questions. This can be a cultural thing. Doctors in Korea are seen as all-knowing and shouldn't be questioned. As a foreigner, ask away!

Reason 2: You leave the hospital/clinic in tears. Your doctor should not be making you cry.

Reason 3: They flat out refuse to give you want you want even though there's evidence to back up your claims, ex. skin-to-skin, breastfeeding, episiotomies, shaving, enemas, no pitocin, eating and drinking while in labor, laboring in water, not being strapped to the bed to labor on your back, not being able to opt out of an IV, etc.

I will have to saw that you might want to do a little give and take here. While ideally it would be fantastic that you could get everything you want, it doesn't happen to everyone. Pick your battles. If you don't want an episiotomy or an IV, but your doctor wants you to have both, pick the one that you feel more strongly about. For example, you could agree to an IV if the doctor agrees not to give you an episiotomy (just be careful, they're fast!).

Also, remember that you'll need evidence to back up your request. As foreigners there's a lot we can get away with, but if you want to do something that's totally out in left field, such as have your pet dog there while you give birth, don't expect your doctor to allow you to do this.

Tender Embrace Birthing offers childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care classes and support.

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