What does this mean to you?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/informed) the word informed means: “having a lot of knowledge or information about something”.
In the pregnancy and birth field, and in the medical field in general, to be “Informed” means that a person knows the potential benefits and risks of a particular thing, and any other alternative options to that particular thing along with any potential risks and benefits of those alternatives, when obtaining “informed consent” PRIOR TO medical procedures being booked in and/or done.
Part of my job as a doula, and what will also be part of my job as Childbirth Educator once I finish my CBE training, is to INFORM my clients of their options. This means going through the benefits, the risks, and any alternative options and their benefits and risks as well, in order to help my clients be able to make their own informed decisions - that are the best decisions for them - about their care and their births.
Last night I had a discussion, on a very public platform, with someone who was only partially informed and either wasn’t willing, or wasn’t ready, to take the next step into being fully informed.
I won’t lie, it frustrated the shit out of me at the stubbornness and lack of willingness to LEARN more about the subject rather than just accepting as gospel what one single government agency with a known bias and a known lack of up to date evidence based practice had to say, but I kept my responses polite and shared relevant evidence based links (quality links, from multiple highly respected sources) and then wished the person a “good night” and took myself off to bed.
Sleep wasn’t easily obtainable however, the subject of being “informed” kept going around and around in my head, on repeat, and I started wondering about how I could get it out there that there is the necessity for us as parents, and I include myself in the “us” as I am a parent too, to be informed not only about pregnancy and birth but also about the choices that we will have to make as parents – something that seems to be actively discouraged in society in general, we are told and expected to all be the same do the same regardless of our own individual circumstances and personality types
So this blog post is being written – not to promote one agenda over another but to encourage YOU as parents to inform yourselves about your choices.
Don’t just rely on what one government agency or one paediatrician, or on doctor, tells you to be correct or true.
DO THE RESEARCH FOR YOURSELF so that you can make an INFORMED decision based on multiple information sources instead only of one or two information sources that could potentially be biased to make you think that that option (that you are being pointed towards) is the only option available to you.
Look up the studies (PubMed is a good place to start, studies done within the last 5-10 years are the most up to date and usually the most evidence based, you can also look into the authors and make comparisons between studies and then look deeper into any differences that you find – remember, studies done on small numbers of people, eg under 100,000 people, don’t give an accurate overall look into the general population, larger studies of over 100,000 people give a much more accurate representation of the general population in the area/s that the study took place), visit the WHO, ACOG, RANZCOG, Mayo Clinic and CDC websites, and read through everything so you can be informed about the risks and benefits, when something should or shouldn’t be done (contraindications) and why they are being suggested, offered, mentioned and told to you.
When you are fully informed you can make an informed decision.
When you are making an informed decision you are making the best choice for you, your child and/or another family member based on ALL of the options that YOU KNOW to be available and not just the options that you have been told are available to you (these can vary drastically between care providers and hospitals).
Not being informed gives someone else that power – your care provider for example – and takes away your own power to choose from all options and make the right decision for you out of all of those options.
Being informed gives you the power - the power to choose, the power to make your own decisions and the power to make the right decision for you and yours.
Does any of this resonate with you? Want to work with me on your pre-birth mindset? Send a message to arrange a no obligation interview to find out if I'm the right doula for you!