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10 Things Patients Wish Their OBs Told Them

10 Things Patients Wish Their OBs Told Them

Expecting moms have a lot of questions, and Ob/Gyns spend much of each patient’s appointment time fielding these questions. But after delivery, new moms, especially first-time moms, realize that there are some things that they wish they had known. So we surveyed moms about what they wish their Ob had told them, and here are the top 10 responses.

What have patients told you that they wish they knew before delivery?

(We welcome your answers in the Comment section.)


Sick of whiners with agendas.

Bruce @

I provide in-home postpartum care to my clients until 2 to 3 weeks postpartum. Women are still in labor for 10-14 days after the birth, while the uterus contracts to involute. Everything changes with the mother and baby day to day, especially with breastfeeding. Our maternity care system would do well to copy many of the European countries, which routinely provide ongoing in-home postpartum support for new mothers and babies.

Veronica @

"Women are still in labor for 10-14 days after the birth." Really. Can you provide even one peer reviewed journal article that purports to show this?

Steven @

There is no place in any of these coplaints for blaming the obstetricians cating for the patient, not only because the doctor's time during antenatal visit would'nt allow, but moreover because it would seem so rushing and inappropriate to talk about postnatal complications before the event of birth, and even then, it would not be the responsibility of obstetrician, otherwise what's the role of nurses and other health care profesionals!?

zahraa @

I was surprised at how bad I felt the week after I gave birth. Everyone hears how painful labor is and I was prepared for it. I didn't realize that every muscle on my body would hurt like h***. I wish women would feel comfortable enough to call their doctor's office with their concerns and have a nurse give them advice. So often, women don't want to "bother" their doctor (result of hurried visits? Or perhaps because first time Mom's tend to be young and don't want to feel stupid for not knowing everything).

Susan @

This is why a good childbirth education class, with a well qualified instructor, is so important for women. Doctors often don't have the time in their 5-7 minute visits with patients to go over all of the details or all possible outcomes. All of these scenarios are covered in my childbirth ed classes.

A note on Kegels - they aren't the end all, be all of pelvic floor health. Kegels are often done improperly by women and for the wrong reasons. There are more appropriate exercises, such as squatting, that will better help her pelvic floor. It sounds as if the mother who responded has a limited understanding of the mechanics of pushing and what is necessary to make for a shorter 2nd stage.

Deena @

Many people don't listen to the Antenatal health talks or even come late believing that the care only involves seeing a doctor to give their complaints & have their abdomen palpated for fetal wellbeing but they are wrong, because when the time comes to deploy the experiences in caring for themselves or their babies they will be found wanting. The lesson here therefore is that; there is need to take every part of the care serious, you never know when and if you will need.


Some of these questions are just plain ridiculous. The one about mastitis, especially. Blocked ducts are just that. Lots of women get them multiple times and never get mastitis. I have a really hard time believing the breast went from normal to the state she described in so little time. And, often there's not a lot to do to prevent the mastitis. You can prevent the engorgement and work on the blockages, but some women get mastitis, period. Prompt treatment is the key. All she needed to do was read a pregnancy/ postpartum book. It's not the OB's job to teach you everything that could possibly happen to you, and frankly, they don't have time.

Jennifer @

These are all the things that nurses should be teaching women in the hospital both prior to the delivery and after the delivery - all of these things should be taught in many formats and reinforced with written materials. Patients should also be given phone numbers they can call with questions. This is rational follow up care that all too often does not happen in our health care system.

Aline @

Women want to be heard... They want you to stop and listen and wait being in such a hurry to fix things and actually hear what is going on. Don't placate them, listen. Help them get the sport they need to accretive the birth they desire... Classes, doulas, etc. Help them truly make an informed decision.

teresa @

Tell the women to find and attend (comprehensive) childbirth education classes!!! They provide a forum for learning all these things mentioned. If more Obs actually endorsed and emphasized the benefits of prioritizing classes, especially before the first child, and NOT telling women "no, you don't NEED to go, especially if you want an epidural". I have heard too many women say this is what they were told. The classes are intended to be a place for meeting others at a similar state of pregnancy and having an instructor able to guide and answer questions. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of "dumbing down" of childbirth preparation,in the past couple decades - shorter and shorter classes, "one day", "wekkend", "internet only" options, all less effective than the more original class designs, but still better than nothing! I have been a professional for over 40years now, having worked as a RN, childbirth educator, midwife and nurse-practitioner, in hopsitals, clinics, homes, out of hospital birth center, and find myself contstantly providing a "crash course" on dealing with childbirth. With this comes seeing way too much built-up anxiety that could have been prevented with a little more advance education! For those who can't find available classes, ( or "don't have time") they can enlist the services of a Doula, who can help them learn tools to prepare and cope, and be an added resource. In many more places insurance and/ medicaid covers all or part of the cost of these services.

Laurie @

So few women seem to care anymore.....they just want to be induced and get "my" epidural. No one seems to trust their body anymore or care to "experience" childbirth.

Susan @

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