Thoughtful Thursday: Talking to your doctor or midwife

Effective Communication

It is important to begin and continue an open and honest dialogue between you and your healthcare provider. Many decisions you will make during your pregnancy, birth, and throughout your child’s life will be based on the level of trust you have with your healthcare provider(s) and the relationship they have with you. This relationship, and mutual respect, begins with communication. Presenting your questions and concerns in a positive manner is a big step toward a good relationship.

Positive language, how you phrase questions and even refusals, is at the forefront of positive communications. Here are some tips:

Begin conversations with “We have some questions and concerns and would like to get your input.” It opens the door for an effective conversation.

Try to avoid negatives such as “we won’t, “we refuse”, and “no”. These can be replaced with “we want to”, “what are your thoughts on…?”, and “____ is important to us.”

If a difference in philosophy or conflict arises, hear the other person out, explain your perspective, and ask for any literature that you can study at home.

Finally, end with phrases such as “we really appreciate your time”, “thanks for taking this time with us.”

Positive communications are a two way street.  If you feel you are not being treated respectfully, you may want to address that. If the issue is still unresolved, you may find you are more comfortable with a different care provider. Switching practices may seem daunting but it is possible, and it’s never too late!

Baby Steps offers natural and prepared childbirth classes, breastfeeding classes and support, and doula services in the metro Atlanta area.  Current locations include East Point, Douglasville, Marietta, Kennesaw, Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Lawrenceville, and Decatur.  If these locations are not convenient for you we also offer private, in-home classes on your schedule.  Contact us for more information.  babysteps@babystepsonline.net