How to Advocate for Yourself with Doctors After a Pregnancy Loss

Going through a pregnancy loss is one of the most difficult things to go through. You may feel lost and confused or not know what the next steps are. You may want to try again for another baby, but are scared of having another loss. You are not alone in these feelings. If you have experienced a pregnancy loss, one of the most important things you can do is to be an advocate for yourself with your doctors. It can be difficult to know what to ask or say, but it is crucial that you communicate with your health care providers. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for how to advocate for yourself with doctors after a pregnancy loss.

It is important to remember that you are the one in charge of your body and your health. You know your body better than anyone else does. If you feel like something is wrong, or if you have any questions, make sure to speak up and advocate for yourself.

You may also want to read A to Z Emotions of Pregnancy Loss: Understanding the Grief Process.

Find a Doctor You Trust

It is important that you find a health care provider that you trust. For some, this may mean staying with the same doctors you had before and during your loss. For others, this may mean switching to a new doctor. Remember that, most of the time, you have the option to choose which doctor you see. If your current doctor is not a fit, try a new doctor.

You may want to ask your friends or family for recommendations. You can also use a search engine, like Google, or check your insurance website for provider options. Once you have a few names, you can research each doctor online. Make sure to read reviews from other patients so you can get an idea for the feel of the practice.

It is also important to consider the type of doctor you see. For example, if you experienced a miscarriage, you may want to see an OB-GYN. If you experienced a stillbirth or neonatal death, you may want to ask for a referral to see a maternal fetal medicine (MFM) doctor once you are pregnant again.

In some areas or in certain situations, you may not have the option of switching doctors. In this case, you can follow some of the below steps in order to learn how to advocate for yourself with your current doctors.

A female doctor wearing a white coat sits across from a patient.

Get a Second Opinion

If you feel like your doctor is not listening to you, or if you are not sure about a diagnosis, get a second opinion. You have the right to do this, and it can be very helpful. Getting a second opinion can help you feel more confident in your care plan, especially if the diagnosis is confirmed. Talking with a second doctor may also help you come up with different treatment ideas based on their experience.

To get a second opinion, you can ask your current doctor for a referral to another doctor. You can also search for doctors on your own and make an appointment without going through your current doctor.

Remember that you have the capability of being your own best advocate. Do not hesitate to ask questions or see another doctor if you feel like you need to. I ended up switching my MFM doctor more than halfway through my pregnancy with Jasmine. I decided I was not comfortable with the way my appointments went with my original doctor and chose to go elsewhere. It took me a while to realize that I had the right to advocate for myself and switch doctors.

Do Your Own Research

Normally, it is best to not search for certain medical questions or conditions online because it can lead you down the rabbit hole and cause unnecessary concern. However, in some cases, doing your own research and talking it over with the doctor can be beneficial. This is not to say that your doctor does not know what they are doing or that you know more than your doctor. Doctors do not know everything and cannot possibly know everything, so talking things over with them is a great place to start.

I have found that most doctors are not very well informed about PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). Many prescribe birth control or Metformin and leave it at that. I did a lot of my own research and found other ways that PCOS could be managed (through things like diet and acupuncture) that doctors never even spoke with me about.

I also found my own research to be helpful when my daughter, Jasmine, was first diagnosed with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) when I was 13 weeks pregnant. My MFM at the time was very pessimistic about the whole situation, basically giving me no options. I went home and researched on my own and found several doctors in the U.S. that even specialized in treating CDH. I was able to take my treatment into my own hands, even though my MFM did not offer up any of this information.

Reaching out and finding support groups or other communities of people that have dealt with the same situation as you can be incredibly helpful. It is so important to remember that you are not alone in this journey. There are people who have been through similar situations and may have helpful advice to offer.

A female doctor wearing a white coat stands next to a patient talking with her.

Ask Questions

Do not be afraid to ask questions to get more information or to ensure things are thoroughly explained to you. If you do not understand something, ask for clarification. It is your right to receive clear and concise answers to your questions.

Sometimes, doctors can be very dismissive or condescending when patients ask questions or ask for more information. They may act like the patient should just trust them and not question their authority. However, it is so important to advocate for yourself and make sure you are comfortable with the care you are receiving.

You should never feel like you are being a burden by asking questions. Doctors are there to help you, and they should be willing to answer any questions you may have.

Talk to Family and Friends

If you are struggling with how to advocate for yourself with your doctor, talking to family and friends can be helpful. They can offer support and help you figure out what to say or do. Additionally, they may be able to offer suggestions or resources that you were not aware of.

Talking about your experiences with your doctor that left you confused or unhappy can be difficult. It is important to speak about them because they can help you realize that you are not receiving the care you deserve. Sometimes we do not realize our experiences are not typical until we talk about them with others.

Your family and friends can help you talk things through and come up with ways to better advocate for yourself. They can also provide emotional support, which is so important during this time.

A doctor and a pregnant woman sit on a bed near an ultrasound machine.  They are looking at a chart.

I hope that these tips on how to advocate for yourself with doctors after a pregnancy loss will help you feel more confident in advocating for yourself. Remember, you have the right to get a second opinion, to do your own research, and to ask questions. You are not alone in this journey. There are people who have been through similar situations and may have helpful advice to offer. Do not hesitate to reach out for support. You deserve to receive clear and concise answers to your questions. Advocate for yourself, and do not be afraid to question your doctors. If you have any other tips on how to advocate for yourself with doctors, please share them in the comments below!

You may also be interested in:

Returning to Work After a Pregnancy Loss: What You Need to Know

How to Honor Your Baby’s Birthday After a Pregnancy Loss

How to Respond to Hurtful Comments After a Pregnancy Loss

7 Ways To Reconnect With Your Partner After A Pregnancy Loss

15 Songs About Baby Loss

24 Books to Read After a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Pregnancy Loss

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