Are you being reassured, or dismissed?

“I raised a concern with the obstetrician and she said we just have to play it by ear as to what’s happening with the pregnancy at that point. So I felt reassured by that.”


say or do something to remove the doubts or fears


treat as unworthy of serious consideration

The quote above describes an all too common circumstance. An apparently reassuring interaction was actually a dismissal of an attempt to be responsible and prepared. And whilst this seems sensible, putting off discussions of concerns means any decisions or attempts to understand will be in the moment. Some of the concerns – or ‘what-ifs’ – can be addressed without needing much detail or time from the care provider. For example, you may want to know about a policy for induction. Here, it is the question we ask that matters.

If you ask:

Will I be induced because I conceived through IVF?

and are told, “It depends” – dig deeper. What does it depend on? Under what conditions would that care provider recommend induction, and what test or procedure would be needed to assess this? Induction is routinely offered, and the decision belong to you. Since induction requires consent and involves risks, exploring induction is one of the General Considerations undertaken when creating your birth map. You can determine if or when you accept or request an induction by understanding what it involves and how it will impact your labour and birth. The decision will include physiology, logistics or circumstances.

Your care provider is just one resource for your preparations. Most appointments are far too short for an in-depth exploration of your options, so you must find reliable information to help build your understanding of the maternity system.

How do I know what I do not know?

When figuring out what you don’t know, start with your fears and concerns. Fear is a gift. When we are afraid or concerned about something, it usually means we do not fully understand it. The next step is know where to find the reliable information. The Birth Map: boldly going where no birth plan has gone before evolved out of this need to find out. It contains questions to prompt discussions with care providers and helps find the information needed to make confident decisions. Typing our questions into a search engine means dubious, overly marketed and not very reassuring results. In the book, you will find suggested reading, which gets you started in a reliable and unbiased way. With this understanding, we can better prepare for some of those ‘what-ifs’, so if they do arise we are ready. Your birth map is built in conjunction with your care provider so that you can create a realistic understanding of the landscape of your birth journey.

To be reassured is to have an answer to your concern. To be dismissed is to be brushed off or told ‘not to worry’. You may experience dismissal in early to mid-pregnancy, and it is only in late pregnancy concerns are taken seriously. If you find yourself experiencing this, be proactive in your preparations so that when the care provider takes you seriously, you can make the most of the opportunity.

Join the free Member Access to flip though the book, play the game of birth and explore resources. A monthly zoom chat provides an opportunity to brainstorm your options, and roleplay your discussions.

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