How to Advocate for Yourself
Being pregnant can be one of the most demanding and rewarding things a woman will ever experience. There are so many questions and concerns when you’re pregnant. Learn how to advocate for yourself.
This blog post will provide you with some helpful tips for advocating for yourself during pregnancy.
Do Your Research
The first step is to do your research. It may seem like you have a lot of time to do the research, but there are some things you’ll want to know in advance to help you advocate for yourself. This can include the following:
- Delivering at a hospital vs birth center or a home birth
- What birth class will help me to advocate for myself and the birth I want?
- Is a birth doula, virtual doula, or postpartum doula right for me?
- What medications you can take during pregnancy
- What vaccinations are safe for pregnant women
- Who can help with childcare or home health care
- Whether or not your employer offers maternity leave
You want to make sure that all these questions are answered before childbirth happens so that you don’t feel pressured into making decisions without enough information. When looking online for information, make sure you stick to reliable, trusted sources for up-to-date information and contain current guidelines. The American Pregnancy Association can be an invaluable resource in the first instance.
Keep Meticulous Records
One of the most important things you can do is keep meticulous records. If you feel like something is wrong, or your doctor’s appointments are not going well, make sure to write it down. When you get home, write down exactly what went on in the appointment and how you felt about it. This will help create a clear timeline of events and will also come in handy when advocating for yourself during pregnancy.
Meticulous record-keeping can also be a saving grace if you experience any pregnancy complications or have a pregnancy or baby that requires more intervention than most. You will need to know exactly what care you/they are receiving and how your baby is progressing at all times in the event of emergency hospital admissions. Records can also identify any lapses in care or mistakes that have been made. In 2020 in America, the maternal mortality rate was 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births. Sadly if you need to hire a wrongful death lawyer, your records can be of great value to assist you going forward.
Ask All The Questions
It’s important to ask questions during pregnancy. Asking questions will help you feel more educated and prepared for what is ahead. Knowledge is power. Knowing your options can help you to have the best possible outcome for you and your baby.
Know The Acronym B.R.A.I.N.
When undergoing any type of medical procedure during pregnancy, you should always keep B.R.A.I.N. in mind;
- B: Benefits of the recommended procedures, care, or medication?
- R: Risk if you decline any procedures, care, or medication?
- A: Alternatives that are available?
- I: What does your intuition say?
- N: What if you do nothing?
Using this acronym is a great way to help you make informed care decisions about all aspects of your life. It will help you look at the best options available to you, look at all the possible outcomes and help you to get the best care and attention during pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond.
Know your Rights
The first important step is to know your rights. Many laws are specific to pregnant women, such as the right to time off for doctor’s appointments and other wellness visits. You should also know what your state’s laws say about things like unpaid maternity leave.
Additionally, you should be aware of your employer’s policies on pregnancy-related matters. Some companies offer benefits like paid leave or accommodations for pregnant women. When you know these types of policies exist, you can request them from your employer.
Make Decisions That Are Your Own
Pregnancy is such a personal time. You have to make the right choices for yourself and your baby. It is essential that you make the best decisions for yourself with the assistance of your trusted care providers.
Everyone has an opinion, and it can be hard to know what to do when everyone around you has different advice. Listen to their advice but don’t let them decide for you. The best thing to do is talk with your doctor about all of your options and then go from there.
Pregnancy is such a wonderful time, and many parents want to make the most of this period in their lives, and rightly so. But ensuring you are getting the proper medical care for your needs will help put your mind at ease that you and your baby are in safe hands.