I will keep this simple. You have rights, not privileges when you give birth. Do you know your rights when it comes to labor and delivery?
Your rights during labor and delivery:
- The right to refuse any care you did not consent to.
- The right to refuse an induction.
- The right to decline cervical checks.
- The right be told the names and jobs of the health care team members involved in your care.
- The right to ask for a new nurse.
- The right to refuse residents.
- The right to fire your doctor and request a new one.
- The right to change providers at any time during your pregnancy.
- The right to get up and walk around and not labor on her back.
- The right to get out of bed.
- The right to back off of pitocin.
- The right to have a VBAC.
- The right to eat and drink during labor.
- The right to push in whatever position you want.
- The right to catch your own baby.
- The right to say no bottles for your newborn.
- The right to question anything.
- The right to have timely medical procedures and protocols.
- The right to be treated without discrimination based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, religion, language, or ability to pay.
Know your rights during labor and delivery mama.
I will also add with the number of women in the U.S. as a result of pregnancy or complications during or after childbirth specifically black women dying 2½ times more often than white women , I am specifically speaking to black women to not only know your rights, but know when you need to be adamant and advocate for your health.
Postpartum Concerns To Look For
If you any of these things are happening to you.
Also known as hemorrhaging, is occurring and after birth. Excessive and rapid blood loss can cause a severe drop in your blood pressure and may lead to shock (organs aren’t getting blood) and death if not treated.
If you are changing your pads excessively – soaking through a menstrual pad in an hour or less at home or in the hospital. In the first 1 to 3 days after birth, your discharge (aka lochia) will be bright red and heavy. This is not a sign of excessive postpartum bleeding and is nothing to worry about.
After a few days, your discharge will lighten up, becoming watery and pinkish in color. Within a week or so, it will lessen into a yellowish-whitish discharge with occasional spotting. This can last up to 12 weeks postpartum but will likely go away within 3 to 6 weeks.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure can be precursor to preeclampsia. There is no known reason why this happens.
Here are the key symptoms of preeclampsia :
- High blood pressure, usually after 20 weeks of pregnancy
- Signs of organ difficulty, including traces of protein in the urine
- Severe headaches
- Nausea or vomiting
- Vision changes, including blurry vision, light sensitivity, or temporary loss of vision
- Decreased platelet levels in the blood
- Shortness of breath
One of the three of the leading complications that can lead to a woman’s death during or after childbirth. Usually hard to detect because your body is going through changes. Sepsis can be seen up to 42 days postpartum.
Here are the key early warning signs of sepsis :
- Fever and chills
- Very low body temperature
- Peeing less than normal
- Rapid pulse
- Rapid breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
I hope sharing this information helps to inform you before you enter the hospital to delivery your baby. There are many things we do to prepare for a baby – classes, registry and parties. Knowing things like your rights during labor and delivery should be added onto the things we do to prepare. In the hospital, they make things seem as if they are necessary when at times they may not be.
Please share this information with another mama to be to help as know their rights.
Rights During Labor and Delivery
Wife and mother of twins. Founder of Pride & Joy Baby Planners and The Expecting Mamas Network.