The Power of Choice

Who controls your destiny?

One thing that surprises me about maternity care today is that sometimes women feel that they don’t have a choice in how they labor and give birth. The truth is, you almost always have a choice. Being well-informed in your  decision-making is key. Do you take everything in healthcare at face value or do you view your relationship with your provider(s) as a conversation?

We often say that medicine is not an exact science. Practices in medicine, nursing, and healthcare are influenced and defined by guidelines, research studies, trial and error, habit, “expert” opinion, and ultimately personal preference or judgement on the part of the practitioner based on the available information. All of these elements influence the care that your receive when you enter into the traditional health care system. But remember, you are at the center of your care. Ultimately in today’s so-called “broken” healthcare system you are, quite honestly, the most consistent element in your care plan. The concept of choice is fascinating. I often hear women describe their current reality in a way that suggests that they don’t have a choice. One might argue that in some societies, women have less of choice. Certainly, there are cultural, geographic, and political influences that create this type of a paradigm for women and yet, as women, we have the power to control our thoughts. Consider the platform of Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize winner and native of the Swat Valley in Afghanistan.

Malala lived in Swat Valley during the most intense and restrictive years of Taliban rule and yet, despite all odds, she exercised the power of choice by going to school with several of her girlfriends, even when girls her age were  banned from attending school. Today she travels the world sharing her platform regarding the importance of education for girls in all corners of the world; despite the cultural setting in which she grew up, she exercised the power of choice, against all odds. And, most of us aren’t faced with the consideration that we might meet a bullet in our journeys to own our choices. She did. Exercise the power of choice now as you journey through each trimester. When labor begins, we tend to focus inwards and although we can still exercise the power of choice, our ability to express ourselves may be overshadowed by the intensity of labor and all of the other influences that present themselves at the time of labor and birth. The more you can exercises the power of choice, and especially the power of informed choice now, the easier it will be to convey your preferences in the heat of labor.

Regardless of your affiliation with the healthcare system and your level of comfort with accessing prenatal care, the choice is yours. You decide your thoughts, your course of action, where to birth, who to select for your healthcare team, and how you will approach your pregnancy journey. As a pregnancy coach, my mission is to support you in exercising the power of choice as you take ownership of your journey into motherhood, empower yourself with information and open your heart and mind to the benefits of a collaborative approach to maternity care. Ultimately my wish for you is that you have the opportunity to manifest your desires in growing and birthing a new being in the ambiance of love, light, and compassion.

I look forward to connecting with you!

 

Elizabeth Summers, RN, BSN
Pregnancy Coach, Birth Doula, & Registered Nurse
Owner & Founder of Elizabeth Summers Wellness

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