As your own advocate, and legally being the only one able to make decisions about your care and what you do and don't want for your birth, you are responsible for your own choices and actions and what you do and do not accept, and no one else is legally able to take that responsibility from you for as long as you are conscious and sane and able to make those decisions yourself.
Conversely, your care providers are legally responsible for making sure that you are fully informed so that you may make those decisions knowing that you are making the right decisions for you - and not making a decision that is biased one way or another because you were not given all of the information that you should have been given.
If you are wondering why I am saying this, or even thinking that I may be anti-care provider - I am not anti-care provider. I was however born with eyes that can see reasonably clearly (albeit needing glasses to see best), a brain that thinks and is capable of making logical and rational decisions, and ears that hear all too well and can understand quite clearly when someone is no following current best practice or practicing evidence based medicine, and over the years I have heard far more care provider bias being pushed as fact (not just to clients, but also to myself as a birthing mother as well), questions avoided being answered, half answers and half truths pushed as the only option or only true answer and informed and well educated mothers having their wants, wishes and needs shot down and thrown in their faces as "impossible!"; "can't be done!"; "unsafe!"; "your baby will die!" when they are evidence based and informed decisions that THEY ARE MAKING FOR THEMSELVES.
As a birth worker I try my absolute hardest to remain unbiased when I am working with a client, but sometimes it is extremely hard to maintain that unbiased position and I, quite literally, have to bite my tongue and physically stop myself from opening my mouth in the moment until afterwards when I can quietly speak to my client and assess how they have been affected by what they have been told, and if needed I can then remind my client that regardless of what a care provider has said that they still do have choices available to them that are different to what they have been told.
Is it ideal? Nope. It sure as hell isn't.
But it is the only way to keep practicing in the field that I love without antagonising every single care provider against doulas and doula support - which would not be beneficial for the birthing families who utilise doulas, or for my colleagues within the doula profession.
The downside of not saying anything then and there is that the culprits don't learn that it is not acceptable behaviour. They do not learn that we, the birthing people, will not tolerate untruths, incomplete information, half truths, fear mongering or coercion when it comes to our bodies, our babies and our births.
They do not learn that they are not the decision makers, that the birthing people are the only ones who must make decisions. And when they do not learn they continue to cause harm by omission.
But YOU can learn to speak up for yourself.
YOU can learn when others cannot or refuse to learn.
And that is a very powerful thing.
When you learn you gain the POWER to decide.
The POWER to correct.
The POWER to teach.
The POWER to CHOOSE.
And CHOICE is your legal, ethical and moral right when it comes to your body.
Make your own decisions based on being fully INFORMED, not on fear or coercion.
And then own your decisions.
Do you want extra support during your pregnancy and/or birth? Send a message to arrange a no obligation interview to find out if I'm the right doula for you!