If there is one phrase I’d like to get rid of in birth, it’s “have to”.
There are no “have tos” in birth, there are only medical recommendations and a birthing woman’s informed choice.
There is no such thing as “My baby is breech so I have to have a hospital birth.” There is no “I have to be induced because I’m 42 weeks”. There is no “I have to have continuous monitoring of my baby’s heart rate because I chose to receive an epidural”.
If you have a doctor or registered midwife, they can make recommendations, and you make an informed choice about those recommendations.
Speak about your birth choices in a way that keeps the power with YOU:
“My doctor recommended induction at 42 weeks. I asked for a lot of information about this recommendation, and in the end I chose to decline (or consent to) induction.”
“My nurse told me it standard practice at my hospital to use continuous electronic fetal monitoring when women have an epidural. I, with the support of my doula and partner, asked informed consent questions about this policy, and I chose to decline (or consent to) this monitoring.”
“My registered midwife told me she was unable to support my home birth plan because my baby was breech. I did some research and I chose to find another way to birth at home (or I chose to plan a hospital breech birth).
Keep your birth power, women. You don’t “have to” do anything. You can choose to consult with whomever you like for their recommendations (medical or not), and then you make a choice about whether or not to follow those recommendations. Your body, your birth, your baby, your CHOICE.
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