Know Your Rights During Labor and DeliveryHaving a baby can be both exciting and stressful. Once labor begins, an expectant mother can feel like she has very little say over what is happening. It can sometimes feel like no one is telling you what’s going on with your baby and your own body. That’s why it’s important to understand that you do have rights in the delivery room, and you should not be afraid to exercise those rights.
Right to Choose Your Hospital or Birth Center and Provider
Even before you get in the delivery room, you have the right to choose who will care for you and where you want to have your baby. Do your research. Ask around. Tour the different hospitals and birthing centers. You can even interview doctors before you decide to start seeing one. You have the right to know about their experience and track record. Make sure their philosophies about childbirth line up with yours and that you feel comfortable with them.
Right to Informed Consent
Before your doctor performs any procedure, he or she should inform you of what will happen during the procedure, any risks that may be involved to you and your baby, and any alternative treatments that are available. You have an absolute right to be informed about a proposed treatment before agreeing to it.
Right to Make Decisions
When the doctor suggests treatment or medication, you have the right to decide whether or not you want to go forward. For instance, if, after describing the risks and alternatives, you decide that you do not want your doctor to use pitocin during the delivery, that is your right. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and your baby.
Right to Change Your Mind
Sometimes a mother might make decisions and agreements with her doctor but then change her mind during labor and delivery. For instance, she might have told her doctor that she did not want an epidural during delivery but then changed her mind once she got to the delivery room. You can change your mind at any point. However, if it is an emergency situation, it may be too late to change your mind if the choice endangers your life or the baby’s life.
Right to be Respected
Nursing staff and doctors should treat you with respect in the delivery room and not just part of an assembly line. Any questions or concerns you have should be taken seriously. If you are ever made to feel like you are bothering your medical providers with your questions, then they are not doing their jobs.
Consult with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you or your baby are injured during labor and delivery, you have the right to consult with a medical malpractice attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español