Meet Lindsay Mumma, DC- our Regional Director for the North Carolina region! She is a mother, wife, chiropractor, and CrossFitter. Check out her bio on our website, and be sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
Be Informed. Give Consent.
By Lindsay Mumma, DC
During my childbirth class, our instructor said something so beautifully profound that it caused me to second guess every prenatal appointment I’d attended.
“You know that ‘birth canal’? It was a vagina first. And it’s YOUR vagina. Even when it’s a birth canal, it’s still your vagina, and YOU get to make decisions about it.”
Lying on your back with your feet in stirrups while someone is poking around down there isn’t exactly the best time to make an informed decision, but women are expected to do so everyday. A patient of mine, 38 weeks pregnant, came to her appointment with me after seeing her OB for a regular prenatal visit. She agreed to a cervical check, and while her doctor was examining her cervix, she announced that my patient was 4 cm dilated, and that she could “make things speed up” if she wanted her to. My patient agreed, and her doctor said she would strip her membranes and then did so. When I asked how her appointment was, she said, “I’m 4 cm dilated and they stripped my membranes - whatever that means!”
My patient was certainly not truly informed as to the procedure taking place within her body, and while she had consented to a cervical check and agreed to “speeding things up”, she didn’t really consent to what was happening. As a patient, it was her right to be given all of the information regarding procedures happening to her and to either agree to or deny those procedures.
Don’t let your “informed consent” just be a form you sign on your first day with a practice. Ask questions. Call upon your toddler self to repeatedly ask “why”, and be sure that you are comfortable with the answer. And remember this acronym: BRAINS.
B - benefits
R - risks
A - alternatives
I - intuition (Trust it!)
N - “no thanks” (Remember, you can say no. Your body, your baby, your decision.)
S - “‘scuse me” (Ask for a moment - alone or with your partner - to collect yourself and make a decision.)
It may be a little inconvenient, and your provider may look at you like you’re crazy, but your health (and the health of your baby) are ultimately up to you. Yes, your provider likely has your best interest at heart, but the decisions are not up to him or her, nor should they be. And you shouldn’t have to make up your mind while your feet are in the stirrups. You can politely ask that you be given information before you are placed in a vulnerable position so that you can make your best decisions. If your provider doesn’t respect that, find one who does.
Lindsay Mumma, DC
OFFICE: Triangle Chiropractic
Get out of the gym today. Go on a hike. Climb around on some rocks. Hike up a few hills. Get outside and use your body in nature. Take some time to give thanks to your body for being so amazing and adaptable. You're growing a human being in there! Take deep breaths. Feel yourself connected to the Earth. Then go light some sparklers. Happy July 4th!