Asking questions and listening carefully using the Palliative Care Ask-Tell-Ask communication paradigm has the potential to enhance communication in normal and complicated pregnancies.
I recently cared for a couple who planned a second home vaginal birth after cesarean, Keira and Peter (names changed for privacy). Keira’s first labor resulted in a cesarean delivery due to arrest of progress. It is highly likely that Keira and Peter were provided details as her labor progressed, as well as options, risks, and benefits—because that is what we are trained to do. Yet her birth experience had left her feeling profoundly unheard, silenced, and disempowered. For her next delivery, Keira chose an out-of-hospital birth with a midwife, despite the increased risk posed by her cesarean scar. She was fortunate, and a healthy baby girl was born without complications. This birth was vastly different for Keira—she felt seen and heard. She felt that her opinion and feelings mattered.
Read the rest this perspective: ACOG Green Journal: I See You, I Hear You—Only Then, I Speak