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Advocating for Yourself in Pregnancy

Advocating for the best outcomes in health is in your hands - and as you prepare to welcome a new family member, it becomes an even more important role not only for yourself but for your children as well.

I’ve experienced firsthand the power of advocacy for healthcare and believe it’s one of the greatest lessons I learned as a new mother.

Let’s start with pregnancy. Here’s how you can advocate for yourself and ensure you’re getting the care you deserve:

Bring a Support Person

It can be helpful to have someone with you at appointments to be a second set of ears. Your partner,  friend, or doula can offer support, take notes, and help you ask questions.

Speak Up About What You Know and Want

You know your health history and what feels normal for you, so share that information with your provider. When discussing treatment options, ask yourself:

  • Are you comfortable with the recommendations?
  • Do you want to discuss the pros and cons of each option?
  • Are there other treatments to consider?
  • Being open and honest helps your provider give you the best care possible.
Use the BRAIN Method to Make Decisions

The BRAIN acronym can help when you're faced with a medical decision:

  • Benefits: What are the benefits of this treatment?
  • Risks: Are there any risks, and what are they?
  • Alternatives: What other options are available?
  • Intuition: What’s your gut feeling?
  • Nothing: What happens if you do nothing or wait?
Ask Questions

It's your provider's job to listen and explain things clearly. If you feel ignored or disrespected, speak up. It’s common to feel like you need to move quickly through your appointment at a busy office. Take your time and ensure you have your questions answered before leaving the appointment. Here are some tips:

  • Make notes before your appointment and refer to them during the discussion
  • Ask for clarification if you don’t understand something.
  • Make sure your concerns are noted in your medical records.

If you aren’t comfortable or satisfied with the level of care or respect you receive from your provider, it’s your right to explore other options.

May 21, 2024
1 min read
Melissa Gallagher
Co-founder & CEO of Alma Care