Thursday, October 9, 2014

How Biases Affect Your Decisions in Birth

Knowing what you want out of childbirth can be harder than some would imagine. Many mothers just want their birth experience to be good and not bad, but they don't necessarily know what that looks like. I dig deep in The Birth Experience trainings to help parents discover
what they want and how to achieve it, and I've recently acquired a new tool to take that a step further.

Sometimes I have clients who envision their ideal birth, learn about their options and make a birth plan for all the things they want, but when they get to the hospital things change. Beforehand, they may have been dead set about declining a certain intervention, but the second a nurse or physician suggests it they quickly comply. For the longest time, I didn't understand why this was happening. I thought it was because I hadn't done an effective job in childbirth education or maybe they didn't believe me or think my information was credible. I thought maybe I had done a poor job at empowering them, but that wasn't the case. Watch this video to learn more:

Each of us has a specific "DNA" when it comes to how we view the medical establishment and interventions. These are called individual biases. If you, or your client is someone who is a "Believer" and has a lot of trust in her physician, you are likely to agree and comply with your physician even if you have information that contests what he or she is telling you. Or, if you are more of a "Technologist" than a naturalist, I can show you evidence until I'm blue in the face that Continuous Electronic Fetal Monitoring does not improve maternal or fetal outcomes, but you probably will want to have it anyway.

Here's the thing: It's all okay! Yes, you need information. Yes, you need effective childbirth preparation. Yes, you need to know your birth options. But you also need to know your own DNA and what kinds of decisions you are most likely to choose. This will also help you in choosing your healthcare provider. If you are someone who is a Believer and have a lot of trust for your care provider, you need to make sure that he or she is on the same page with you about the kinds of interventions you feel are best for your birth. If you do not see eye to eye, you are likely to comply with interventions you may not want after learning the risks and benefits simply because you have a lot of trust for your care provider!

As doulas, we need to understand our clients' DNA and help them empower them to make the decisions that are truly best for them, based on excellent information as well as their personal inclinations.

What do you think? Where are you on the scales? How do you think this can help you in being empowered and making informed decisions about your birth?

No comments:


Find me at Tulsa Family Doulas

Join me at the 2015 SMTULSA Conference!

Site design by: The Blog Decorator