“If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any.”
“If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any.” (Korte) One of our favorite quotes at BBC, and exactly where our name came from. Knowing your choices is key. Key to support, key to using your voice, key to walking towards the kind of birth you hope for, key.
In our childbirth classes, we review what we call the ‘Key Questions Card.’ It’s this little golden nugget that you can carry around in your back pocket, birthed out of trainings from Penny Simkin and DONA International, carried through Lamaze, Passion for Birth, and Birth Matters, and now it’s a BBC must have. Here’s what it says:
- What is it?
- How does it impact mom?
- How does it impact baby?
- Are there any natural things we can do first?
- How long can we wait?
Now, first I want to say that this key questions card is not meant to question your doctor’s knowledge, experience, or training. Of course their input is incredibly valuable, but sometimes their road and yours look different. The primary goal here is to be informed, and to make choices that put you on a mutual path. So often, the leap of, ‘You don’t trust me’ is made before the bridge of, ‘Let’s talk about options’ is ever crossed. Find the bridge, walk it together early on in your pregnancy, and make sure you’re on the same path.
Think about it this way. If you were talking with a well known car manufacturer and could ask any question you wanted about the vehicle that you were about to spend your life savings on, what would you ask?
- How does it run?
- What happens if I do this?
- How was it made?
- What’s the best way to keep it running well?
- What kind of information can you give me about this?
Or, would you just drive it off the lot and never question at all?
You are seeking knowledge in order to make good, informed decisions about your investment. You are the consumer. You have choices.
So, when options about pregnancy and labor come along, and they will, ask. And ask early on – start this process now. Be informed. Get wise counsel, seek your care provider’s thoughts, weigh your options, and make your beautiful birth choices.