The 4th of Lamaze’s Healthy Birth Practices is

Avoid interventions that are not medically necessary.

This is wonderful advice, but how can you do this?

Choose Your Care Provider Carefully!

How can you know if your Care Provider uses unnecessary interventions?  Ask Questions!

If you don’t like their answers, then change.  It is never too late and is well worth the work.

Here is a story of Angela and how she changed care providers and hospitals 48 hours before her due date because they were pressuring her into an induction, even though she and the baby were fine!

  1. Hospital Tour
  2. Change Care Providers 48 hours before due date.
  3. Phone Call from Head OB
  4. Birth Story (was making the change worth it?)

I think that the best way to avoid unnecessary interventions is to have a care provider (and birth location) that doesn’t routinely use them!  Almost every intervention has a good time to use it in some births, but to use them routinely for all moms, can actually cause problems instead of fix them.

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  1. After I failed my one hour glucose tolerance test and they didn’t let me know in a timely fashion and then were pushing me STRONGLY for a three-hour even though I informed them that the 1 hour made me sick and made my son stop moving for a good 48 hours.. And that I would prefer to do finger-prick testing to monitor my blood sugar levels the way I would do if diagnosed with gestational diabetes.. And they were having none of it..

    I switched to a different care provider 2 weeks before my due date, and was promptly diagnosed with low fluids. The interesting thing is that I somehow managed to pick the hospital where a study had been done that said that inductions at term for low fluids when NSTs are good, are not warranted. So they allowed me to try to increase my fluids while carefully monitoring me with NSTs and AFI checks instead of inducing.

    I went into labor naturally, and delivered on my due date without any painkillers or too many interventions. (The “interventions” were mild such as coached pushing on my back, “stretching the exit”, breaking of my waters..)

    Had I stayed with my original care provider, they would most definitely have induced me rather than allowing me to try to increase my fluid levels.

    The gestational diabetes test would have been easy enough to sign a AMA on, but they would NOT have let me walk with low fluids.

    If a care provider pushes something early, it can be a sign. I’m 17w pregnant and just switched care providers because they made way too big a deal of the H1N1 flu shot and made me sign an AMA waiver.

  2. Low fluid at term is one of those things that gets overreacted to I think. The best evidence we have suggests that isolated low fluid at full term is something that can be watched, and that induction does not improve outcomes.

    What did you think in retrospect about checking blood sugars every day? A lot of patients would rather get the 3 hour glucose test and hopefully not have to check at all, but I certainly wouldn’t keep a patient from checking sugars instead if that’s what she wanted. Seems a lot of fingerpoking to me!

    enjoybirth Reply:

    I think it is great to give mom the choice. If she would rather check her blood sugars every day instead of the 3 hour glucose test, then she should do it that way!

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