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Advocating for Yourself at the OBGYN

When you walk away from this article, I hope you remember one thing: You’re in control.

This is your pregnancy, and you can have things the way you want them. (Yes, queen!)

Your doctor is your partner in your care. You’re a team on a mission to deliver a healthy baby while keeping you healthy, too.

It’s your body and your journey, and it’s time to take charge of YOUR health and YOUR dreams!

Advocating for yourself means speaking up for what you want and need, and taking ownership of the choices that you’re making for your and your baby’s life.

Educate Yourself

When it comes to advocating for yourself, it’s important to educate yourself. When you educate yourself – whether it’s researching OBGYNs to see what they offer and their expertise, or exploring all of the options for pregnancy, labor, and delivery – you’ll feel more confident about making the decision that’s best for you. 

Trust Your Instincts

Your intuition is powerful. If something doesn’t feel right or if someone makes you uncomfortable, don’t just proceed and ignore the red flags. Be honest with yourself. And remember that your choices don’t have to look like anyone else’s. Make the decision that’s right for you and your family, even if it doesn’t “make sense” to anyone else.

Get Support

Bring your partner to your appointments. After all, it takes two! This isn’t just your solo pregnancy journey; they should be there every step of the way. And having someone there to hear what you’re hearing and to speak up alongside you will help you feel like you have an ally if anything feels amiss. This goes for during your labor and delivery experience, too! Up to ⅓ of women report experiencing some trauma during birth (meaning they felt like they or their baby were in danger), so it’s also important to find a doula that you trust to assist with your birth and to help advocate for you and what feels safe and comfortable for you during labor.

Ask Questions + Speak Up

If you don’t understand something, ask questions – all of them! Specifically, ask about the benefits and risks to the different kinds of treatment – for you and your baby. Also, ask what alternatives there are, including what will happen if you don’t do anything. A good way to remember what to ask is “BRAIN” for benefits, risks, alternatives, intuition, and nothing. The “I” is especially important; what is your gut telling you? Don’t let the doctor or specialist make you feel rushed. Be assertive; if they’re telling you that something has to happen, but you don’t think that it’s necessary, stick to your guns.

It can be hard to speak up for yourself. But you’ll feel much more confident and in control of your life (and your pregnancy and birthing experience) if you do!