If you’re a mom wanting to give birth naturally in South Africa, you might find yourself facing some opposition. Jude Polack, director of Genesis Clinic, gives advice on dealing with ‘medical bullies’.
Standing up for yourself can be hard at the best of times. Doing it when you’re pregnant and have the life of your unborn child to consider, is particularly daunting, especially when you’re up against a doctor or caregiver who’s intent on changing your mind.
These 4 tips from Jude Polack, director of Genesis Clinic will help you get the birth you want:
1. Find the right caregiver
If you want to give birth naturally, the most important thing to start with, is to find the right caregiver. Have an in-depth discussion with your doctor from the very beginning and let him know that you want a natural birth. Find out what his C-section rate is and what his/her philosophy is about natural birth. Arm yourself with information about the pros and cons of both a C-section and vaginal delivery; don’t just rely on the information your doctor gives you.
2. Change caregivers if you’re unhappy
If your doctor is clearly not on the same page as you, then you should consider finding a new caregiver. This is a very special time in your life. It’s your right to find a caregiver who will help you enter motherhood in the way you choose, while safeguarding both your and your baby’s life.
3. Get a midwife or doula
Consider finding a midwife or doula, even if you are planning to give birth in hospital. Your midwife or doula will attend your doctor’s appointments with you where they will offer support and stand up for your when necessary.
“Currently, private hospitals don’t allow midwives to come into the labour room with moms, and only a handful allow doulas,” says Polack. “Women need to put pressure on hospitals and doctors to start offering them the birthing experience they want.”
4. Be comfortable with your choice
“I always remind women that this isn’t just the day that a baby will be born. It’s also the day that a mom is born. This is a huge rite of passage for a woman. She should be allowed to make this journey in the way she chooses, and with a caregiver who is mindful not only of mom and baby’s safety, but also of her hopes for how she wants to bring her child into the world,” says Polack.
Our experienced editors work with trained journalists and qualified experts to compile accurate, insightful and helpful information about pregnancy, birth, early childhood development and parenting. Our content is reviewed regularly by our panel of advisors, which include medical doctors and healthcare professionals. Meet the Living & Loving Team and our Online Experts.