#104 | Cynthia Mini: 6 Red Flags That Could Mean You're With the Wrong Provider

June 7, 2021

In today's "Pregnancy" Minisode, Cynthia discusses six red flags that could mean you're planning to birth with a provider who may not be right for you. After this episode, find us @downtobirthshow on Instagram and share your stories with us. That is, how do you know you are with the wrong - or right - provider?  

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If you enjoyed this episode of the Down To Birth Show, please subscribe and share with your pregnant and postpartum friends.

Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). We are always happy to hear from our listeners and appreciate questions for our monthly Q&A episodes. To join our monthly newsletter, text "downtobirth" to 22828.

You can sign up for Cynthia's HypnoBirthing classes as well as online breastfeeding classes and weekly postpartum support groups run by Cynthia & Trisha at HypnoBirthing of Connecticut

Please remember we don’t provide medical advice, and to speak with your licensed medical provider related to all your healthcare matters. Thanks so much for joining in the conversation, and see you next week!

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View Episode Transcript

Hey, everyone, it's Cynthia and welcome to mini episode Monday. The topic for the day is provider red flags. And I know you know, that's a favorite topic of ours on this podcast. So let's talk about some of these red flags. Now, again, this is something if you're a regular listener of our podcast, we talk about a lot. So I'm just going to pick the ones that came up a lot for me and Trisha this week that you may or may not have heard us talk about before. The first one I want to mention, it's almost so obvious, I just have to say it, do you spend more time in the waiting room that at the prenatal visit, and I'll throw in there does your provider take you on time. Now, this may not sound important, you might be thinking this has nothing to do with how they will be and how they will attend you during your birth. I disagree. I think if they regularly take you late, that speaks volumes, about how they do their work, how much respect they have for their clients. So I used to go to my doctor again, the one I fired when I was about six months pregnant or so it's all in my birth story. If you want to listen to Episode 10, I used to sit in that waiting room for an hour and 15 plus minutes per visit. And I always made the ATM appointment, which was her first appointment of the day. And I once saw her coming up with her handbag, through like I saw her just go past the secretary behind the the receptionist with her handbag, about five minutes before they called me in and I said I don't believe this. I think she just shows up late. She never apologized for being late. And I used to sit there and I was a busy person as you are no doubt. I had a career I had a place to go after that appointment every time I had meetings to get to. And I used to sit there and I guess subconsciously thought, Well, she's more important. I have to do this. This is just how it goes. We just have to wait for doctors because they're so important, or they're so busy. Well, I disagree with that today. You may or you may not, but I do. If I were a doctor, I would like to believe I would take people on time. I'd like to believe that if I ever didn't take someone on time, I would be genuinely apologetic because I have respect for people's time. So the fact that she was always extraordinarily late and never apologized already set the tone for our relationship. And then the next question, of course, is even if you're waiting 15 or 20 minutes only? Are you spending five or 10 minutes at that prenatal because what can they hope to get done in five or 10 minutes other than check the heart rate, check your blood pressure, grab a urine sample and say alright, everything looks good go on your way. We pregnant women have a lot to say. And we have a lot we need to ask about. And a lot of it is emotional. A lot of it is mental. It's not just Oh good. The heart rate is fine. go about your day. Now. What if you're afraid of something you're going to be dealing with? What if you're feeling intimidated by the experience? What if you're a woman who suffered assault, medical or sexual assault, you can't just brush that aside and tell a woman in five minutes everything looks good go on. And I'll see you at some point when you go into labor, we can do better. And there are providers who are doing so much better than that. And what many women find is when they change providers, often when they go from from an obstetrician to a midwife, though not necessarily but very often, they will have a very short time waiting for that appointment. And they have very long visits, often 30 minutes, sometimes 45 minutes. Sometimes those appointments end with a hug. Sometimes they end sometimes during those appointments, the woman gets to be emotional and share what she's feeling in her pregnancy. We're not doing enough holistic care in our country. And I wish we were I wish all the providers were trained in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Or at least we're equipped to recognize when a woman could get a referral to get some kind of other support or just a support group. But we have to do better by at least building more of a relationship. Let's move on to the next one. If you're with a doctor or midwife who discourages you from hiring a doula that's a red flag. The research is abundantly clear that when couples hire doulas for their births, they are far more likely to have a safer outcome. A more satisfying outcome. Better breastfeeding initiation rates, lower rates of postpartum depression, half as many c sections I mean, that alone makes childbirth safer. That alone. Again, if I were an obstetrician I can't fathom discouraging a couple from having all the
support that they can possibly have through that birth. Especially when statistically that support is going to lead to a safer outcome. increase the likelihood Have a safer outcome. Why isn't that good for everyone in the room? So if they're discouraging a doula, it's usually because their ego is involved. And you'll know this, it's going to be a red flag, if they say something manipulative, like, I'm sure you want to spend all that money, which is what my doctor had said, or my doctor went so far as to say, just make sure your doula remembers who's in charge. And think about that the birther is in charge. That's who's in charge. So when the doctor said, make sure your doula remembers who's in charge, she's not only undermining the doula, she's also implying to that pregnant woman, and you're not in charge either, by the way. So that's a red flag. Another one is, if you have had a C section or multiple c sections, and your doctor isn't supportive of you're having a VBAC, a vaginal birth after cesarean. If they say you can't do that, or it's not as safe or there's a risk of uterine rupture, they are grossly misleading you and discouraging you. And that's not supportive. And if we're just talking safety alone, safety is on the side of vbacs. Are there times to have a repeat susteren, of course, are Syrian sections a life saving surgery? Absolutely. When they're needed. So we don't want to use the Syrian section indiscriminately. We want to rely on having that as an option, when we actually have a medical indication for having this is Aaron section and having had a privacy section is not a medical indication of needing one in your next birth. Here's another important one. Anything that's routine and this is a key word routine routine, a PCR dummies, routine amniote dummies, routine IV is a red flag, if your provider will expect you to have any procedure routinely, without a medical indication for doing so that's a red flag. If your doctor says Alright, let's get your induction date on the books. So if they want to routinely induce that's a red flag.

And then finally, I'll just say if that provider speaks with language that makes you uncomfortable. And I'll tell you some of the things that make me personally uncomfortable, and you just have to see how you feel about it. I am very uncomfortable with that when a provider and I'm not just talking obstetrician, any doctor, if they were to speak to me with the word let or allow like, Look, I'm not gonna let you go past 40 weeks, or I can't let you do that. Like, who's in charge here? What does that mean, I can't let you do that. If a pediatrician were to say that, to me, whose baby is this, it's not for the pediatrician to let you do something regarding your baby, it's for you to let them serve you. And in your birth, it's the same way. It's not for them to let you go past your due date, it's for you to let them induce you if that's what you choose to do, if that's what you determine is the safest and most appropriate next course of action for you. I remember asking my doctor again, before I left her and switch to a really great group of midwives. I remember asking her, what's the default? This is how I the language I used at the time what the default procedure after the baby is born? Do I hold my baby? You know, how is this gonna work? And she said, Yeah, now the baby comes out and goes right on you. And then she said, you know, until we need to take the baby, we let you have the baby for a while. And I just kind of nodded soberly and absorbed what she was saying, I look back and think until we need to take the baby, we let you have the baby a while, you've got to be kidding me. Like now I think of my children. No one can let me have my own children, I can let them take my baby, if I have a reason to it turns out I didn't no one ever took my babies from me. But that was the procedure in that hospital. Sometimes they have a procedure, routine separation of mother and baby when there's no reason for it, then that's a risk, then that's an intervention. Because nature didn't expect separation. So when separation occurs, it will have an effect, it will have an effect on the baby. And it will have an effect on the mother and her body and her physiology and her breast milk and her hormones as well as the babies. And we're not even getting into how this can affect the partners because they are a part of this as well. The baby comes up bonded to both of you. So it's more intricate than I'm even getting into in this episode. And I just want to say Finally, your intuition has the answers. I don't have the answers. Despite all my opinions and all my confidence in talking about this. And all of Trisha is when she and I discussed this together in our full episodes. If we were sitting with you at a prenatal we wouldn't know if the provider is right for you. Even If we were just sitting there watching the whole appointment taking place, we would recognize red flags. But you know, that only goes so far, your intuition knows if that provider is right for you. So that provider that I left that obstetrician that I fired, she's right for someone. I just hope with all the women she's seeing every year, I hope she's with the right people who are right for her, I hope it's not a mismatch, I was able to recognize we were a mismatch a few months before my baby was born. But if pregnancy were only three or four months, I wouldn't have recognized it in time. So this is not about saying a provider is good or bad, or that they're right or wrong. It's not about that. It's just about what's right for you. And you know what's right for you. It's like, if you go on a first date with someone, I could tell you, oh, in my opinion, or it's a red flag if the person drinks too much, in my opinion, it's a red flag if the person is texting during your whole dinner date, in my opinion, it's a red flag if the person never asks you about yourself or looks you in the eye. But really, what difference does that make because when you go on a date with someone, you could make a list of pros and cons about the person. And you have a long list of pros. And you can walk away from the day going here. But I'm not that excited about this person. Here's something just doesn't feel right. So we can intellectualize the decision. It's your intuition that knows. And before you go down that path of feeling conflicted, because you've been with your provider a long time, or you like your provider, so many go so far as to say they love their provider. You love your baby more. Your intuition has all the answers. So use these red flags not to make your decision for you. But your provoke your intuition, you will make the right decision. So thank you for listening to this minisode today, we love hearing from you guys. And what I'm going to ask is if you've heard this episode, go over to Instagram and go to down to birth show and just message me and Trisha with either how you knew you're with the wrong provider, or how you knew you're with the right one. So thank you so much again for listening to this. And as we always say, hear everyone and listen to yourself. You truly do have all the answers within you and when really respect your own intuition and tap into it. It will always be the absolute best tool you can possibly have.

If you enjoyed this podcast episode of the Down To Birth Show, please share with your pregnant and postpartum friends.

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Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood.

You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). 

To join our monthly newsletter, text “downtobirth” to 22828.

About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

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