How to Receive Prenatal Care While Planning an Unassisted Birth
Many women who plan on giving birth unassisted still want to receive regularly scheduled prenatal care. Whether they just want to reassure themselves or their friends and family, they simply feel more comfortable with period checkups. There is nothing wrong with receiving prenatal care. And while it may not be entirely necessary to have those regular checkups, most of them can’t hurt. How do you go about getting prenatal care while planning an unassisted birth?
Do Your Own Prenatal Care
The easiest thing to do is to perform your own prenatal care appointments. While you won’t be able to do a blood draw, you can certainly test your urine, measure your uterus, weigh yourself, and examine your current diet and lifestyle. You can even purchase a stethoscope and listen to your baby once you’re far enough along. If you’re curious about your overall health, you can ask your primary doctor to perform some simple blood tests for you.
In order to ensure a healthy pregnancy, it’s really important to eat healthy, exercise, and go outdoors. Prenatal care may give you another indication that you’re not healthy, but it certainly won’t fix it.
Pay for Individual Appointments
Some midwives will allow you to pay for each individual prenatal appointment. If you go that route, they won’t come to your birth. However, most midwives charge one price that includes prenatal care, the birth, and postpartum care. You are usually required to pay the entire amount a few weeks before your due date. It may also be possible for you to make appointments at an OB/GYN.
In order for him to continue treating you, you might not want to mention that you’re planning an unassisted birth. You should be able to pay for each appointment when you go. If you have insurance, then your doctor won’t be able to bill them for services you haven’t received, so that’s certainly an option.
If you don’t tell your care provider that you want to give birth unassisted, then you might want to have a plan for afterwards. Many women choose to say that everything happened to quickly to call. And if everything turns out okay, there is really no reason to go to the hospital afterwards. If you want to receive postpartum care, you could call the doctor the next day and let him know. But that’s entirely up to you.
If you have passed your due date and your doctor is pressuring you into an induction, then you have even more of a reason to stop going. However, if you end up going over your due date by two weeks or more, you should read up on post-term pregnancies to watch for potential problems on your own.
Go All the Way
Many women find the idea of having to go to the hospital as a backup worse than having a midwife to call. Therefore, you may decide to sign a contract with a midwife that allows you to call her when the baby comes. You can still choose to call her after the birth if you want, or you could even not call her at all. What you end up doing is entirely your choice. But you also need to decide how comfortable you are with giving birth unassisted in the first place.
Some midwives won’t mind taking a backseat at your birth. I have even heard of a midwife who will wait out in the car during the birth unless she is called. Not every midwife is going to be hands-off like that. But as you’re getting closer to your due date, you will have an idea of how your particular midwife might react.