Being an Advocate for Your Health

Being an Advocate for Your Health

     My husband takes two showers a day.  When he got sick with a stomach problem, he was admitted to the hospital and was there for a week.  On the third day, I noticed that he looked very uncomfortable. When I got close to him, I noticed that he smelled bad and his hair looked greasy.  I asked him why he hadn’t taken a shower and he said “I didn’t know if I could.”  My husband is an intelligent, strong man and when he said this it really drove something home: when we get admitted to the hospital, we feel as if we have lost all control.
     So I want everyone to know, especially my pregnant mothers, that when you get admitted to the hospital, you have control over everything.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to say no.  So many times I see physicians tell patients that they need to have a cesarean section, and all the patient has to say is if my baby is okay, can you give me a little more time?  When you get admitted to the hospital, the nurse will put you in a bed.  You don’t have to stay there. At our hospital, you can walk around while you’re in labor or rock in a rocking chair.  Patient’s do not realize that they really have control over everything.  When I had my baby, they told me that she had to go to the nursery for 4 hours to “transition.”  I wish I would have known back then that I could have said ‘no thanks.’  I’ll never get that time back. I wish I would have insisted that everything be done in the room, in my view.  I just wish I would have known that was my right as a patient.
     If you are going to have your baby in a hospital, there are two things that are almost non-negotiable.  You will probably have to have an IV, or at least IV access, and your baby will probably have to be monitored externally.
     So remember:  Ask questions. Be informed. And remember that you have the right to refuse any procedure or treatment, or at least ask to be better educated on any procedure or treatment.  It’s your body and it’s your baby.  Don’t forget 🙂

Categories: Before, During, and After Pregnancy, For Patients..., Labor & Delivery

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1 reply

  1. I wish I had known this when my son was born. I have seizures that began when I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter and she was born vaginally at 36 weeks with an epidural. I had a different doctor with my son though and after going into labor on my own at 36 weeks and having a scheduled c-section he told me I had to have general anesthesia because an epidural was too risky for someone with seizure history. I told him that I’d had an epidural with my daughter but he insisted and I felt as if I had no control over the matter so I was knocked out and missed my son’s birth, as did his father. We missed his birth, his first cry, everything that matters most during those first few minutes. He’s almost a year old now and you’d never be able to tell we didn’t have that bonding time but it’s something I’ll never forget not getting to be a part of.


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