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Patient and Family Centered Care: What do I need to know?

Patient and Family Centered Care is near and dear to my heart. I have worked in the field for 7 years to help improve the care that women and families receive. It is my belief that while we can educate providers on the need for the shift to more patient centered practices, we also need patients expecting this type of care going into their journey. This requires education. You need to know enough about your current health state to discuss it and you need to know what good healthcare is. You should get the genuine feeling that the medical staff care about you and your concerns. You should feel comfortable asking questions when you have them. You should have discussions about YOUR everyday life and needs. This is a part of how you get the best care decisions.

There are studies that show when patients participate in their care as much as they would like they have better outcomes! I find that fascinating and empowering. You have so many choices. The most powerful choice a pregnant women can make is where they receive care and who is on that team. I do not take it lightly when women choose me to assist in them along that journey. Neither should your medical team.

While most patients understand when their doctors are not listening to them. Not as many understand what to do in these cases.

Here are some tips to help you navigate healthcare:

1. Select your doctor. Do not just go to a doctor without knowing something about the practice or the doctors in it. Do they align with your beliefs? Ask your doula for assistance.

2. Read the hospital or office patient bill of rights.

3. Learn with shared decision making is and request it.

4. Learn how informed consent is different from shared decision making.

5. If you are switching doctors or midwives, make sure you don't cancel care at your current office until you are able to get an appointment at your new office. I am in contact with women show desire more and seek the care providers who will give it to them often. To make this transition smooth if you do indeed decide the care provider is not a good fit, maintain appointments until you are established at the new provider or doctor.

6. Obtain childbirth education classes to make sure you can participate full in conversations with your healthcare providers. You should know how your body works. You should have questions if you don't already know.

The thing I love most about being a doula is helping moms and families understand what to ask for and look for in their birth experience. Hearing people say I never knew that was an option or I wish I had known is why I do the work.

Please let me know if I can assist you further. I have a childbirth education class coming up January 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th 5-7pm each day. You will need all 4 dates to complete the class. The cost is $100 per couple and I will give you access to a birth plan and addition resources via a packet I will mail to you in advance. Here's the link:

Can't wait to see you online. Follow me on Facebook or Instagram .

LaToshia Rouse

Birth and Postpartum Doula

Childbirth Educator

Lactation Educator


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