Or are you ticking some boxes?..
In a vast variety of situations in pregnancy it is not uncommon for women to be labelled as 'high risk' & subject to guidelines when presenting with a particular circumstance (think maternal age, high blood pressure, complications in an earlier pregnancy - the list goes on). In most cases the risk is still relatively small, albeit at an increased rate from 'low-risk', but such guidelines can have a huge impact on an individual's birth experience.
If you do find yourself labelled as 'high-risk' & told you are ‘not allowed’ or 'not permitted', it should not be a given that you’ll shrug your shoulders and accept the inevitable change to your birth plan or suggested intervention. You can dig deeper. You still have options.
💛 Ask questions - why are they denying you your birth preference. How do the guidelines apply to your personal situation?
💛 Do your research - what exactly is the risk for YOU? How can what you are requesting support and benefit your labour? Take a look at the Sarah Wickham Evidence Based Birth or AIMS websites or call the AIMS helpline for further independent ideas and advice.
💛 Speak to a Senior Midwife or write to the Head of Midwifery - explain the details of your unique pregnancy and if needs be back it up with any supporting evidence you have sourced. Is it possible you could negotiate an exception to the guidelines given your personal circumstances?
💛 Look for an alternative - different trusts often have slightly different guidelines. Is there another hospital local to you, under another trust, that will accommodate your wishes? Would a home-birth suit you better and would the local trust be willing to support you in that?
Naturally there are plenty of situations where the guidelines make sense. But remember, they are exactly that, 'guidelines', you have options and if you feel passionately about your birth choices, it's worth taking a second look.