I see so many posts where women are asking each other for recommendations for the ‘best gynae’ or ‘best midwife’ in a specific area. While I understand that you’d rather go to someone who comes as ‘recommended’ by others, the question is in my opinion incomplete, and reflects that women are not quite taking charge of their own births just yet.

What if the questions looked more like this?

  • I’m looking for a birth care provider who will support me in having a VBAC. Any recommendations?
  • I would like a hospital based birth with a midwife who is very hands-off – recommendations please?
  • I’m considering a home birth with a professional midwife in XYZ area – please share names of care providers who will support us with evidence based care.
  • I would like to have a gentle, elective C-section, in a hospital where they support latest evidence based practices like skin-to-skin and rooming in. Please share relevant experiences and advice.
  • I am not sure if I want a vaginal birth or C-section. Recommendations for a birth care provider who truly supports both and will give me unbiased information?
  • Recommendations for who to contact for a hospital based, midwife led waterbirth?
  • Looking for a HypnoBirthing-savvy doula with experience in twin births.

Know what YOU want first.

You see, if you simply go to Dr. Jenkins because your friend Susan went to her, you’re leaving a lot to chance. Did Susan want a vaginal birth without unnecessary interventions? And is that what she got?

When her baby had not arrived by 40 weeks, was she made to believe that it’s normal for her to be induced? Did that lead to more interventions? Or end in a C-section she was not quite prepared for? Or did she want a C-section from the start? Is that what YOU want?

Did she have a good experience and did the doctor make her feel cared for and heard? 
Would you feel more comfortable with a male or female care provider? Do you prefer a service provider who is professional and to the point (but sometimes a bit impersonal), or someone with a warm and spontaneous bedside manner? Did Susan comment on Dr. Jenkins’ demeanor, and did you even consider asking?

Do you know if Susan’s doctor genuinely asks consent for each procedure, or simply informed her that he would now be doing an internal exam (while it’s actually completely unnecessary)?

You need to know your options, before you can really know what you want.

There are so many things to consider when choosing your birth care provider, and it starts with a careful and thorough evaluation of your own goals. Do you understand all your options? Do you need more information? Do you know what you want, or do you still want to figure it out?

THEN you start asking for recommendations for care providers who will support you on your own unique journey, in line with the birth you really want.

Wishing you all positive and empowered pregnancies and births – you and your babies deserve nothing less.

Much love,
Charine