Being pregnant and preparing for the birth of your multiples is not a walk in the park. It is full of increased excitement, worry, risk, and preparation.
Choosing your care provider will be one of the most important decisions you’ll make during your pregnancy. You will be trusting this person to give you confidence in your body's innate ability to birth your multiples, listen to your questions and concerns and help you decide what is medically necessary and what isn't. Your doctor or other care provider plays a major role in the memory of your pregnancy and birth and can have a lasting effect on how you perceive your experience.
For lower risk multiple pregnancies the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommends a board-certified obstetrician. If you have a more complicated or high-risk pregnancy, you may want to see a specialized obstetrician called a perinatologist. You can also look into a certified nurse-midwife who works in collaboration with a qualified obstetrician.
This is not a time to stay loyal to your obstetrician who has done your routine pap smears and such. This is a different ball game and you should plan on interviewing your current care provider along with a short list of others that you are referred to by:
· Your local Parents of Multiples group
· Friends and families with recent births
· By the hospital you want to deliver at (the one with a good NICU or that takes a natural approach to birth)
· By your trusted doula or midwife
Here are 10 reasons you should switch or not choose a certain care provider:
1. They are not well versed in multiple pregnancies and don't seem overly knowledgeable about certain complications. They also lack a strong network of perinatologists.
2. They immediately claim you'll need a C-section or to be induced by a certain date with no evidence to back up their reasoning.
3. They schedule you for bed rest without reason (there is little evidence that bed rest is beneficial to preventing early labor for low-risk pregnancies).
4. They do not believe that you should even consider a vaginal birth (certain situations with twin pregnancies certainly prevents a vaginal birth but for most, this is a possibility that should be considered until it proves impossible due to positioning or other risk factors).
5. They put down the idea of you taking a childbirth, breastfeeding or other birth or postpartum preparation class.
6. They are not spending enough time with you to have all your questions and concerns answered.
7. Their after-hours line is unresponsive.
8. They do not review your birth plan with you.
9. They do not consider your wishes for immediate bonding with your babies (placed on chest, delaying bath and medical procedures, breastfeeding and kangaroo care right after birth)
10. They leave you feeling deflated, unconfident, and unsure of your ability to carry your babies to term and birth them as naturally as is possible.
If you experience any of these situations, it is time to re-evaluate your care provider. Although you are at increased risk for needing an induction or cesarian birth and you may need to go on bed rest or have other types of medical interventions during your pregnancy, this does not mean these should be assumptions that are made early into the pregnancy without any evidence to back up the decisions.
The Bottom Line
Some care providers treat every multiple pregnancy with the same routine but each woman and pregnancy is different and should be treated as such. You have a right to explore your ability to give birth and have a care provider that believes in you and your body. Then, as situations do arise, you can trust that your care provider is looking at you as an individual when considering what interventions should be introduced to keep you and the babies as healthy and safe as possible.
What are some other reasons you may choose a new care provider?
Want to learn more about your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum life with twins?
Consider taking one of our virtual or in person classes.