I recently attended one of my doula client's prenatal visits with her obstetrician.
She had been telling me about her obstetrician for several months. "I like her," she would say. "She seems open-minded and willing to work with me and respect my wishes... but I'm just not sure if she's just stringing me along or not...."
Over all, most of the reports about her doctor sounded pretty good. She did say a couple things about her that concerned me. For one, the doctor couldn't really remember exactly what her c-section rate was, but she assured the patient that it was "pretty low" and definitely not higher than the other obstetricians in the practice because she only does them "when necessary."
I agreed to come along to a routine prenatal visit and meet her doctor. My client wanted me to tell her what my impression of her doc was afterwards.
I was liking her doctor a lot.
She was saying lots of good things, answering questions openly and took plenty of time to discuss anything my client brought up.
And then my client again brought up c-sections. "You know, Dr. Smith," she said earnestly. "I just don't want a c-section with this baby. I'm counting on you to do everything you can to make sure that doesn't happen to me. Surgery just freaks me out and I don't want end up there... I'm trying to get myself educated so that I know about the risks and benefits of various things and can know what is most likely to make a c-section happen. Is there anything I can do to help prevent myself from becoming a c-section statistic?"
Dr. Smith smiled. "Oh, honey! Don't worry yourself about having a c-section! There's only one good way to deal with that fear of becoming a c-section statistic -- Just don't think about it!
You probably won't have one, and if you end up with a c-section, you can just know that it was necessary and you can be happy that you and your baby are healthy!"
Dr. Smith turned back to charting, but my mind was spinning.
Her best advice on avoiding a cesarean section? Just don't think about it!
I wonder how many other docs give this advice to nervous couples expecting their first baby?