Sometimes it’s useful to know what questions to ask at appointments or during labour. You may find these useful in your journey.
1. ‘Am I or my baby in immediate danger?’ If the answer is ‘no’ then you know you have time to make decisions about your care, and how you want to move forward, using your BRAIN tool.
2. ‘Can you tell me that again in actual numbers?’ Telling you your risk doubles doesn’t help you make an informed choice. Telling you your risk goes from 2% to 4% or 20% to 40% does.
3. ‘Can you write that in my notes please?’ If you feel you are being pushed to something you don’t want to do, or you want something recording, ask for it to be written in your notes for future reference.
4. ‘Is that a recommendation?’ Sometimes personal views can get in the way of facts. Ask if you’re being given a formal recommendation (and ask them to record it in your notes).
5. ‘Is that a legal requirement?’ I’ll give you a hint on this one – the answer will be ‘no’. The only legal requirement you have is to notify Child Health Information Service of your baby’s birth, and register their birth. Everything else is your choice. You don’t HAVE to do anything!
Written by Sarah Lewis – antenatal teacher and postnatal doula in Portsmouth.