It is very important that new moms feel comfortable talking to their providers when they have questions or concerns. We at the 4th-trimester project promote woman centered care. “Woman-centered” care means that your provider should listen to you, respect you, and respond to you in a timely manner. You should always feel free to contact your provider if you think anything is wrong.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Research tells us that racial biases can influence the ways that providers treat their patients. Also, many women avoid care because they do not feel respected by their doctors. Women of color in the United States are at higher risk of complications and death during and right after pregnancy. Native American and Black women face the highest risks. This makes good communication (with a provider you trust) even more important. The 4th Trimester Project partners with organizations such as the Black Mamas Matter Alliance to make urgently needed change in this area.
Find a doctor who will listen
It is vitally important that your provider listen to your concerns. If you feel like your provider is not listening to you, consider having a support person attend appointments with you. If they still do not listen, you might be better off changing providers.
Make a plan
ACOG recommend that women and their health care providers create a postpartum care plan while you are still pregnant. The plan should include contact information of someone you can call if you have any health concerns.
1st visit by 3 weeks
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that all new mothers talk to their Ob-Gyns or certified nurse midwives within three weeks after giving birth.
After that, women should be supported with “ongoing care as needed, concluding with a comprehensive postpartum visit no later than 12 weeks after birth” (ACOG, 2018). Don’t wait for issues to become serious before you ask for help. Seek the support of health care professionals so that you can stay well. You and your provider can also decide together whether you need to visit another doctor or specialist.
References to Explore: