You probably have heard of the phenomenon of Informed Consent. There also exists alongside it, Informed Refusal. What those two consents share in common is information –– not hearsay, rumor, Internet-hysteria, or popularity. It is not likely that your care-provider has discussed consent with you. You may have already signed a “routine” consent form as part of agreeing to become a patient of the practice. It is also possible that you did not read that consent form at all, much less the fine print. If you are of the ilk that doctor knows best, read no further. But if you are aware that all patients have rights and responsibilities in medical care, it is a good idea that you are clear about setting boundaries and getting not only the pregnancy and birth care you need, but also the care you want. Refusing something in pregnancy or birthing care because your friend’s neighbor’s cousin said it is icky, is not Informed Refusal. Becoming highly educated about pregnancy, labor, birth, and breastfeeding is important to having a safe, happy, and healthy childbearing experience.

Helpful, Rarely Known Information/Did You Know That:

  • Labor contractions start as painless tightening?
    Pushing feels good for most women?
  • The authentic Lamaze Method raises your Pain Tolerance Level, taking a great deal more pain for a woman even to start even complaining about labor?
  • The information in hospital classes and hospital bedside “help” with labor, pushing, birth, and breastfeeding will be mostly non-evidenced based?
  • Hospital classes are designed to create compliant, unquestioning patients?

To side-step things in your way to an enjoyable birth, the more information and training you get from evidence-based sources (beware the Internet) the more likely you will be able to consent to or refuse things, ideas, and processes touted as being “JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED.”

A Recommended Reading List is provided on this website. The blog post Choosing a Childbirth Educator has advice about how to seek out quality childbirth-related classes in your community. Finding out among your friends and relatives who have had awesome birth experiences can also point you toward a satisfying birth. Avoiding horror stories of work colleagues, friends, and relatives is a plus! Believing that inside every woman on earth is the courage and inner wisdom to birth and breastfeed perfectly.

QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF

Do you know enough to intelligently consent to or refuse things during your childbearing experience?