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Is That Midwife, Doctor, or Practice Right for You?

Choosing a provider for pregnancy and birth is one of the most significant decisions not only impacting the outcome of your birth but also your experience, your future fertility decisions, and your longterm health. Mother, you have not only the right but the responsibility to you and your baby to choose a pregnancy and birth provider who respects you both, who offers the care you are looking for, and (important point!) who has the stats to back that up.

It isn't virtuous to ignore red flags, submit yourself or your baby to abuse, shut down your intuition, or hand over your body to someone who has not earned that trust. You don't need to accept care from someone who ignores evidence or who dismisses God's intentional design of birth.

However, many of us have been trained for a long time to just be a good patient. It's deeply ingrained in our culture and in us to listen to the person in "authority" even when it goes against what we know to be true or even when everything in us is screaming otherwise, even when we've done more research on a particular topic than they have! Contrary to those modern cultural beliefs, a doctor or midwife was not designed by God to be an "authority" over your birth. That role is given by God to you, the mother.

We've been there, too. But in the case of your health, authority isn't earned by a degree or a title. No one gets to assume that you are hiring them or that they get to make decisions about your pregnancy and birth. If shared with someone else (after all, in the end YOU are the ultimate authority and caretaker of your body and health) that role should be earned.

Over and over women feel blindsided at 38 weeks or during the actual birth by their provider's recommendations, protocols, or coercion. The birth plan they were told was supported actually is not. Or far too often, the provider they formed a relationship with, trusted, or who supported their plan isn't the one there when they show up in labor and they're left negotiating with a stranger. The practice model of care is extremely important to note when you are choosing a doctor or midwife! If the person you deliberately chose and developed a relationship with isn't even the one there when you give birth, then what difference does it make?

It's possible to switch care or fire a provider at *any* time in pregnancy or even in the middle of birth itself! However, there are things to ask during an interview to get you the care you want from the start.

Access to providers varies, we know. At the very least, we can search hard to know what providers are in our area. We can explore alternative providers and not be afraid of simply asking the question of what it would look like if we took on the role of main provider.

Made for This Birth provides a *free* download of over 30 questions for a potential provider! Download, print, and read through the questions. Think and pray about what questions resonate with you. If you have a provider that has addressed them already, great! If not, bring them up during an interview or appointment to see if the answer is adequate for you. If you feel uncomfortable asking any of these questions, sit with that as well and explore why you feel that way. Is it your own discomfort or lack of confidence? Or is it an issue with the provider themselves not being open to questions or making you feel silly for asking them? That right there is telling!

You and your baby deserve the best possible care and we want to help you find it.


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