Today while on my drive home I was chatting with a friend, another doula in the DFW area, and we were discussing some of the crazy things we’ve had happen to our clients in hospital settings recently. As the world begins to transition back to “normal” after covid – Some things seem have almost gone backwards when it comes to care and support.
I wanted to touch on a couple things that are HUGE red flags when considering your birth place.
Number one is support. You should NEVER be told at any part of your hospital stay that you have to be alone. This is WRONG. You should always have your partner and/or doula/support person with you at all times. If you are told that they are not allowed to be with you at any part of your stay, whether you’re in labor or not – THIS IS A RED FLAG. I don’t care if it’s triage and you’re just being “checked in”. You do not have to be alone and if this happens to you IMMEDIATELY demand the charge nurse and if that doesn’t get you anywhere ask for a Client Care Advocate directly from the hospital. They HAVE to provide one for you. At NO time should a pregnant woman EVER have to be alone during their stay at the hospital. Do not accept this.
Number two – if you’ve hired a birth photographer/videographer – Call Labor and delivery and ask for the charge nurse (I’ve found simply asking your provider is not enough as the rules seem to change depending on the nursing staff working that day) If they tell you that you are not allowed to take any photos during the actual birth of your baby. THIS IS A RED FLAG. You should absolutely be able to document the most important moment of your life and with anyone tells you differently it’s because they have something to hide.
Number three. And maybe the MOST important. If you, at ANY time, feel like something is off. YOU ARE PROBABLY RIGHT. When any conversation with any member of the hospital leaves you feeling uneasy or unsure, listen to your intuition. You should never feel like the environment you’re going to be your most vulnerable in, is unsafe. Talk to other moms in the community about their experience. Join Facebook groups. Read google reviews. TAKE A TOUR. You can never do too much research on this topic.
Your choice of hospital matters.