What is informed consent?

“So you may have heard the terms informed consent, and it’s really important for your labor and your birth process. It’s really important for your pregnancy. And I think it’s even really important as a parent, as your child grows, it has to do with the decisions that you make regarding your medical procedures, before your birth, during your labor. And even after you have your baby. Informed consent means that you have as much information about particular topics or interventions or emergency, emergencies that may come up during your labor process. And that you’ve researched ahead of time. You can ask questions of your medical professionals, and I do advise my students to do that. That’s awesome. You want to ask those questions, but if it’s an emergency situation and you’re asking those questions, then you may not even hear or be able to take in all the information that they give you. 

What should you research before childbirth?

You may not also have the time to research your options if there is, you know, an emergency or even if you just need to make a quick decision in a non-emergency situation. So ahead of time getting all the information that you can about birth variations, breech-birth, or induction methods or medications, interventions that can be used during your labor or things like electronic, fetal monitoring, and wireless monitors and waterproof monitors. There’s a lot of things that, you may be, you may have access to during your labor that you’ll want to know about ahead of time. Taking a childbirth education class is a great way to learn the pros, the cons, the benefits, the risks. So researching ahead of time, and then during your interviews or your, your appointments with your medical professionals during your pregnancy, and also during your labor, you want to ask the questions, why is this procedure being recommended for me? 

Know About Concerning My Pregnancy, Labor and Delivery

What are the benefits and the risk? If it’s a medication, maybe you want to see the, the package insert and you want to look at the actual adverse reactions and who that medication is recommended for and who it’s not safe for. You can ask them if I do choose this procedure or intervention, what then must occur. After some interventions require,  a second decision to be made. So that’s important to think about too, if I do choose this, what then might come next? And another informed consent question to ask is, is there time, may, may I have a moment to think about this? If it’s true emergency, they’ll probably let you know that there’s no time that you to make this decision right away, or there’s no decision to be made. They have to make it for you. But if there’s, if they let you know, yeah, take a minute, we’ll leave the room, you and your partner discuss it. 

Then it might not be a true emergency. And it also can give you time to discuss your, your needs, your wishes, your wants, and even maybe, you know, look up a few answers or call your childbirth educator, consult with your doula, things like that. So it’s really important to ask these questions during your pregnancy, during your labor, and even concerning the newborn, interventions and care that the hospital will provide for your newborn. I encourage all people to make informed decisions. You really cannot make an informed decision. If you just do what you’re told and you have no information about what you’re being told to do, you need that information. You need to make the best-educated decision that you can, one that you’re comfortable with and one that’s right for you and your family.”