Giving birth whilst completely natural can cause a whole case full of worry, doubts and stress. We are lead to believe having a baby needs medical intervention, a hospital and constant monitoring but is this really true?
Whilst regular monitoring from your midwife can be a helpful tool to make sure your pregnancy is progressing as it should, it doesn’t mean you can not pick and choose what happens to you and what you have the right to decline.
The simple truth is you can decline EVERYTHING. There is no legal obligation to see a midwife or GP about your pregnancy, although we would advise that if you are considering doing this you research your decision thoroughly first.
Scans, GTT (glucose tolerance tests), injections, fetal monitoring, blood tests, internals or seeing a consultant are all things that are often expected by a health professional, but do your research first. If you feel there is no need for a nuchal scan ( the scan that can give insight to a child having a higher chance of Downs Syndrome) then say so. If you do not want a GTT then do your research make and informed decision and if you still feel strongly, then decline it. Your midwife will note this on your file but don’t worry, this is to make sure its noted they have offered you the service.
If you wish to homebirth and you have been told no, then don’t take it as gospel. They cannot tell you no, its your birth, your baby and YOUR CHOICE. They can only advise against it. Even then do your research and if you feel that its something you want to do despite their advice, then DO IT! Just make sure its an informed decision and you have looked into the pro’s and cons thoroughly first.
There are many services that offer pregnancy and birth support and can help you become informed on birth and navigate your rights such as Positive Birth Movement. Facebook is a great place to find local services, or ask your friends, they will likely know someone who knows something.
Birth can be an empowering experience but only if you know your rights and can exercise these when you feel the need. Do not fear challenging a health professional if you do not agree with something, their role should be to support you and help you find the right care, not to force or scare you into doing what they see fit.