10 Ways You Can Get Good Maternity Care


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  • 10 Ways You Can Get Good Maternity Care

    1. 1. 10 Ways You Can GetGood Maternity Care
    2. 2. Know your maternity care rightsYour rights may not be protected if you do not understandand exercise them. Learn more at jointhetransformation.org
    3. 3. Choose your caregiver and birthsetting wiselyThese choices set into motion other choices that you mayfind you have less control over. There are good and badcaregivers and good and bad hospitals and birth centersthroughout this country. Check the quality of the options inyour area, and aim to find caregivers you trust and a safe,family-friendly birth setting. Learn more at jointhetransformation.org
    4. 4. Take responsibility for your healthduring pregnancyThis means eating well and exercising, learning as muchas you can about pregnancy and birth, and working withyour caregiver to get the care you need when you need it. Learn more at jointhetransformation.org
    5. 5. Ask about the evidenceTests and procedures are very common in pregnancy andbirth, but often there’s no research to support their use.Sometimes, the research even suggests the interventionsare harmful. Ask what the research says, and learn howto understand research findings. Learn more at jointhetransformation.org
    6. 6. Expect personalized informationIf your care provider recommends a test, procedure,medication, or surgery, take time to learn what itinvolves and the likely benefits and harms for you andyour baby. Learn more at jointhetransformation.org
    7. 7. Think about what is important toyou, and communicate this to yourcare teamYour preferences and values matter. In maternity carethere is rarely one “right” choice. Usually there areseveral choices, each with their own potential benefitsand harms. You are the one who should decide whichbenefits and harms matter most to you. Learn more at jointhetransformation.org
    8. 8. Keep a copy of your care records,and make sure the information inthem is complete and accurateYour health record is an important way for yourcaregivers to communicate with each other, so if theinformation is wrong or missing, you could be in dangerof unsafe or inappropriate care. You have a right toaccess or keep a copy of your complete health record,and many women find it empowering to do so. Learn more at jointhetransformation.org
    9. 9. Arrange the best labor supportpossibleGood support goes a long way to help you cope with thephysical and emotional challenges of labor. Continuouslabor support from a knowledgeable companion like adoula also has surprising health benefits. Such support hasbeen shown to decrease the chance of a c-section, theneed for pain medication, and feelings of dissatisfactionabout the birth. Find out more about these and otherbenefits of labor support. Learn more at jointhetransformation.org
    10. 10. Learn as much as you can aboutlabor, birth, and postpartum beforeyou get thereLabor is challenging. So are the first days and weeks ofmotherhood. Trying to learn new information to make choicesabout your care in labor or after giving birth can be difficult.Be prepared by taking a high-quality childbirth educationclass if possible. Trustworthy books, videos and web sitescan also help you understand your care options. Learn more at jointhetransformation.org
    11. 11. Give your caregivers and hospital orbirth center feedback about your careBirth professionals and birth facilities should always workto do better. You can help them improve care for futurewomen and families by telling them what you liked anddidn’t like about your care experience. Learn more at jointhetransformation.org
    12. 12. To learn more go tojointhetransformation.org