We want to try to post a blog regularly on Tuesdays. Sometimes about our own experiences, like the story of Simone's pregnancy. But also about topics that we believe are very important for pregnant women.
Today I want to talk a little about joint decision-making, or "shared decision making". In shared decision-making, you engage with your healthcare provider to see which "treatment" best suits your situation and preferences. The healthcare provider makes sure you have enough information to make an informed choice about the right care for you. A commonly used tool for this is the BRAINS method. We have posted about this before, so you can easily read about it on our facebook or instagram page.
In obstetrics, shared decision-making is very important. It ensures that you can have more influence on how your pregnancy and labour go. As a result, you will later be able to look back on how your pregnancy and labour went with greater satisfaction. Because you know that you have influenced them.
As a practice, we think it is very nice and important to have a conversation with you about this. Medical care consists of lots of protocols to ensure that any risks you might face are minimised. But you are much more than a pregnancy with any accompanying risks. You are a person full of wants and desires. You yourself often know very well what you would like and what is important to you.
As a practice, therefore, we do value protocols, but we try to put them in perspective. In our opinion, a protocol cannot be more important than a woman's choice. In obstetrics, a care request that falls outside the box is called a "care request outside the guideline". If you have a care request outside the guideline, we will be very happy to discuss it with you.
What is important to us, we are even obliged to do so, is to inform you properly about the advantages and disadvantages your choice may have. We must give you honest information so that you can make a good choice. It is also our duty to properly write down that we will discuss this with you and what your choice will be. So we do not do this because we disagree with you, or because we are trying to persuade you to choose "normal" care, but because we want to deal carefully with every care request.
Through our experience, we are happy to engage with you and see how we can make care safe and enjoyable for you. We can discuss your birth plan with you and see how we can make sure it goes as naturally as possible in the process.
Did you know that until now all three of us, both Mayke and Myrthe and Simone, had a care request outside the guideline? So we understand better than anyone that your feelings can sometimes be very different from what a protocol prescribes. So if you have any wishes concerning your pregnancy or birth, please do not hesitate to discuss them with us. We will be happy to discuss it with you in order to offer you the best and safest care possible.