OB Opposition

Dear yayas,

I’m pretty unhappy with my OB office right now. I’m 22 weeks pregnant with my third child and I feel like the OBs at the office give me a hard time about having a third kid. This pregnancy was absolutely wanted and planned. When I go to my appointments, I feel like the conversation turns to birth control all the time or they talk about how I’m “going to have my hands full” or do I “know what I’m getting into.” It just feels so unsupportive (I swear one of them doesn’t even like kids). I try to just dismiss it and focus on why I am there, but they keeps bringing it up. I just want to enjoy my pregnancy and the blessing of three children. I’m happy about it. It feels like they aren’t. It’s so bizarre. I’m afraid if I mention something that they’ll just write it off as hormones. Any thoughts? 

– Pregnant & Proud

YES, DO NOT go to those doctors anymore!! Ask your friends if they know of a good OB doctor and change asap. Terrible, just terrible, never heard of such a thing! In my day everyone was happy and encouraging about your pregnancy. They would never say anything like that. Don’t listen to them! I had 7 children and my OB appointments were always supportive. That is just mean. – Grama Claire Bear

Wow, I’m sorry that you have had to experience those kinds of ignorant and inconsiderate statements from those who are supposed to be medical professionals. Those in the healthcare field must understand that they are caring not only for their patients’ physical health but also mental health. If you’re not getting the kind of professional and courteous care that every patient deserves, I would certainly recommend finding a new health care provider. It’s your health care and your choice – find strength in that and let go of the negative. – Diana

Hello Proud Mama! Congratulations on your 3rd child! I’m a mama of 3, by choice. I’ve probably heard similar comments, but I’m a mom of three boys and really do have my hands full! But, tone of voice when people make comments like these really does make a difference, and I am so sorry to hear it sounds like the OBs aren’t being totally supportive and encouraging. Like others here, I’d say try to respond with positive remarks about how happy you are about having another child…and hope they get the hint. I was also thinking you could mention about if your other children are excited to have another sibling, or if you or your husband happen to come from families with multiple children and that you want that for your own kids. If you feel comfortable or happy with the medical care you are receiving, particularly if you are already familiar with these doctors from previous births, you could choose to stick it out. But if they are really making you uncomfortable and you have other quality options available to you, I’d consider looking into those. Either way, I hope you find peace in your decision and are able to enjoy the rest of your pregnancy with your husband and baby’s older siblings! It’s an exciting time. – Lorelei

Hi Pregnant and Proud, First, Congratulations! Second, you could handle this a few ways. You could mention that it isn’t a professional comment or a reaction you’d expect and that you are very happy and would like to be surrounded by supportive birth workers. You could just send a note to the office and sandwich it in-something like “I’ve always felt well cared for here…I am getting unsupportive comments and would like that to change…thank you for (whatever). You could also switch providers-don’t ever forget that they work for you. If it isn’t a good fit, personality wise or other, there’s nothing wrong with making a change. I switched providers at 20 weeks. It is fairly common. I hope you do what you are most comfortable with and what enables you to put the negative thoughts from your mind for the duration of pregnancy. – Cortney

I had some of those experiences, too. Ignorant, flippant statements from strangers are one thing, but medical “professionals” are another. My first instinct is to encourage you to seek out and interview other OBs if you can. But with the reality of my situation (living on an island with limited options), I also know that isn’t an option for everyone. We can’t control what OBs think of what we’re saying, but we do have control over our presentation. I would say something, in a clear, consistent way. I would be over the top obvious with your happiness about the pregnancy while still being real about symptoms, etc. For example, when they walk into the room and (I would hope) ask, “How are you today?” You can say, “Happy. We are so, so happy that we are having another baby. It’s a total blessing and we feel ready and excited. I also feel nauseous.” Be sure of your happiness, let it show. Be obvious about it. You can be stoked for a new baby and still have unglamorous pregnancy symptoms. Maybe spend some time really focusing on that happiness you feel and do what you mentioned you want to do…”just enjoy your pregnancy and the blessing of three children.” Go into your appointments with that energy. Write down your medical questions, etc. And if the OB or nurse or front desk goes off topic, just answer, “You don’t have to worry about us. We’re super happy about this baby and ready for whatever our next chapter looks like” or “This baby is wanted and loved. Really, don’t worry about us” and move on, walk away, etc. If it keeps coming up, I would get more direct. “We’re here to make sure the baby and I are healthy. I’m not here for parenting advice or other people’s opinions about the number of children in our family. I would prefer to stick to the reason we are here: the health of mom and baby.” You might be right about one of them not liking kids, which is unfortunate. Stand clear in your own love of motherhood and be confident about that when you go to your appointments. If a new OB is an option, I would suggest that route. If not, I would look into hiring a doula to come with you to your appointments or your husband coming along to also advocate for you. And by the way, from one mom of three to another: Big, big congratulations! You’re going to LOVE the 3 kid club! – Lori Beth

So sorry you have had this experience at such a happy time. I’m not shocked. I’m not sure why people think they have the freedom to judge you about your personal choices but this is becoming way too common over the years. I would agree with Grama Claire Bear to find another OB but also realize this is not always a possibility. I would tell the person in the moment that what they just said does not feel supportive or maybe just write a letter to Dr and staff with the intent of appreciating them but clearly educating them in what you want from them in supporting you at this very special time. – Taren

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