by Penny Simkin  (one of Joni's Doula and Childbirth Ed teachers, founder of many doula activities in Seattle, author of Pregnancy book - see books) 

To order this in a small business card size version you can keep in your wallet, contact ICEA, PO Box 20048, Minneapolis, Minn 55420  USA 

I wish I'd had these when I went to the emergency room for a lion fish bite.  Good to have in any situation (not just about pregnancy or births) which is emotionally charged, but in which you'd like clarity leading to informed choices.  If you can pull this out and go over it WITH your midwife/physician/surgeon/caregiver, you've got a good caregiver!  If not, looking at the questions discreetly will help you receive the answers you need in order to make important decisions.

Answers to the following questions will help you participate in your care responsibly and help you know what to expect.

When a Test is Suggested:

What is the reason for it?  What problem are we looking for?

What will it tell us?  How accurate or reliable are the results?

If the test detects a problem, what will happen next?

If the test does not detect a problem, what will happen next?

When a Treatment or Intervention is Suggested:

1.  What is the problem?  Why is it a problem?  How serious is it?  How urgent is it that we begin treatment?

2.  Describe the treatment:  How is it done?  How likely is it to detect or solve the problem*?

3.  If it does not succeed, what are the next steps?

4.  Are there risks or side effects to the treatment?

5.  Are there any alternatives (including waiting or doing nothing)?

6.  Ask questions 2, 3, and 4 about any alternatives.

In an emergency it may be impossible to fully explore these questions.  Your caregiver should tell you how serious and urgent the situation is.

Follow up Care Joni's addendum (if you think of any other missing questions, please send them to add here):

What about after the intervention/treatment?

How long is recovery time?

What may I realistically expect - discomfort, pain, limits, etc.?  *What are the actual statistics?

How may I speed my recovery - positions, compresses, external applications, etc.?

(contact Joni re massage, meditation, nutrition. external applications for speediest recovery)


If you have questions please E-mail Joni!

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