March 5, 2024

#23: Navigating Labor: How to Protect Your Rights in the Delivery Room with Gina Mundy

If you plan on giving birth in a hospital or want to be prepared for medical complications during birth, this episode is for you. Today’s episode features childbirth attorney Gina Mundy and we talk all about how to have a safe medicated birth, the most common culprits of complication during birth, and how you can advocate for yourself with your doctor and the delivery team. Gina explains that the key to a safe, successful, and healthy delivery is knowledge and communication and everything you should consider when preparing for a hospital birth.

About this episode

What you'll learn

  • The number one culprit of complications in hospital births
  • The importance of having a birth plan and how to create one
  • Real life examples of how small decisions during childbirth made the biggest difference for mom and baby
  • Specific scripts for advocating for yourself with your doctor

About Gina Mundy

Gina Mundy is an attorney specializing in childbirth cases. For over 20 years, her focus has been investigating and analyzing mistakes that arise during labor and delivery. She has spent countless hours meticulously scrutinizing childbirth cases, conducting interviews with delivery teams, and thoroughly examining medical records to gain an in-depth understanding of every decision made during labor and delivery. Throughout her career Gina has traveled nationwide, engaging with healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, and midwives to explore all aspects of labor and delivery. These interactions have provided her with invaluable insights, enabling her to appreciate the diverse perspectives prevalent in different regions of the country.

In June 2023, Gina's book "A Parent's Guide to a Safer Childbirth" was published. The book helps parents to avoid the mistakes during childbirth and have a healthy baby. Instead of getting involved after a mistake was made, Gina is getting involved before childbirth to help prevent the mistakes.


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Learn how I had a safe medicated hospital birth HERE

Listen to my episode about having informed conversations with your doctor HERE

Grab my free guide: 25 Questions to Ask Your Doctor HERE

Purchase Gina’s book: “A Parent’s Guide to a Safer Childbirth” HERE

Connect with Gina HERE and follow her on Instagram HERE  


Hey mama, welcome back to another episode of the Well -Nourished Mama podcast. I am so freaking excited for you to listen to today's interview. I brought on Gina Mundy. She is a childbirth attorney and a successful author and she is going to teach us all about how to have a safe, medicated hospital birth.

This is a topic that I am super passionate about because I feel like, especially on social media, there are two camps and you are forced to choose which camp you're in. Camp one is do everything that the medical system says.

You do everything that your OB says. You do it in the way that they say and you have all the medicine and all of the resources of the medical system and that's how you give birth. Then there's other camp of people.

They have their baby at home with no medication, with a midwife and a doula. There might be a tub involved and it's just basically the polar opposite of a hospital birth. If you're anything like me, I don't like being put in a box.

I don't like being told what to do and I like to have the best of both worlds. It's really hard to figure out how to do that in a safe and respectful way and that's exactly what our conversation is about today.

When we talk to Gina, when we listen to what she has to say, she is going to teach us about the common risks that are associated with a hospital birth, some of the things that she sees repeatedly in her cases that cause problems with childbirth and not just like saying these are bad or these are scary but saying this is a common risk.

You need to know what it is, what it does, and you need to know what your options are about it. We talk about all of those things that go into a hospital birth. birth, that you have options to discuss with your provider, and most importantly, we talk about how to have conversations with your provider about these things.

I feel like we're finally starting to understand that while doctors are the experts and they are the ones with the credentials, they are the ones with the letters behind their name, they are not the ones that should be making all of the decisions.

We are the decision maker. They are our medical advisors. We essentially are hiring them to offer their recommendations and their suggestions and their expertise as we navigate something that we either have never experienced before or we don't have enough knowledge to do on our own or want to do on our own for that matter.

And so it's having these conversations with your provider of, hey, I know this is how you normally do things, but I've heard this and this about XYZ, and that doesn't really make me feel comfortable.

I wanna know if there's another way that I can have my birth at the hospital. And understanding that that not only is possible, but it's recommended. Gina's gonna talk a lot about what goes wrong and why people end up having to hire her as their attorney.

And it's just such a good way of preparing for a hospital birth. And even if you are planning on doing an unmedicated birth or maybe you are planning on doing a home birth, but maybe something's gonna happen and you end up having to go to the hospital via ambulance because there was a complication at home, it's so, so, so important that you are prepared for anything that could happen in a hospital setting during childbirth.

And we're gonna talk about all of that today. And I'm gonna stop talking because I rambled too much. You know me, I'm really passionate. And sometimes when I don't have a literal script in front of me, I can just talk forever, which is what I'm doing right now.

So I'm gonna go ahead and stop talking so we can just get into the interview with Gina because it is so good. And it is a conversation that needs to be had. So if you are giving birth anytime soon, whether it's at home or in the hospital, you need to listen to this conversation and you need to send this episode to any pregnant mamas that you know so that they can understand how they can best prepare for childbirth.

Again, this interview is amazing. You're going to love it. Let's jump into today's episode with Gina all about navigating labor, protecting your rights and having a safe hospital birth.

Gina Mundy is an attorney specializing in childbirth cases. For over 20 years, her focus has been investigating and analyzing mistakes that arise during labor and delivery. She has spent countless hours meticulously scrutinizing childbirth cases, conducting interviews with delivery teams and thoroughly examining medical records to gain an in -depth understanding of every decision made during labor and delivery.

Throughout her career, Gina has traveled nationwide engaging with health care. care professionals such as doctors, nurses, and midwives to explore all aspects of labor and delivery. These interactions have provided her with invaluable insights, enabling her to appreciate the diverse perspectives prevalent in different regions of the country.

In June 2023, Gina's book A Parent's Guide to a Safer Childbirth was published. The book helps parents to avoid the mistakes during childbirth and have a healthy baby. Instead of getting involved after a mistake was made, Gina is getting involved before childbirth to help prevent the mistakes.

Hey, Gina. Thanks so much for joining us on the podcast today. Hey, Brock. Thanks for having me. I'm excited for today's conversation. It's going to be a really good one. I am so excited to talk to you because I feel like in the birth space right now, especially with this new crunchy mom era, there's this dichotomy of you either have to have a horrible medicated hospital birth because you don't want to endure all the pain or you have the complete opposite end of the spectrum and it's an unmedicated birth at home with the doula and everything.

And so I feel like there's this pressure for moms of, okay, well, what if I kind of want to pick and choose elements from both? And so what we're gonna talk about with you today is how to have a safe medicated hospital birth and how to advocate for yourself and do what you would like to do in the hospital, which is still kind of becoming a new thing.

So I'm really excited to hear what you have to say about that. But before we jump into that, please tell everybody who you are, what you do and how you got into your career. Oh, sure. So this is funny if you want, you can edit this out, but crunchy mom, I keep hearing crunchy mom.

That is a total phrase that everybody is using right now. What exactly is crunchy mom? Is that the mom, just the two sides? Yeah, so- It's so like, everyone keeps saying crunchy mom. So crunchy kind of refers to the moms who go non -toxic, they don't do food dyes, they make all their own food at home.

They make, you know, they do sourdough, they don't like the government, they homeschool their kids, they want to do an unmedicated home birth. Like it's kind of, it's kind of like the homestead -ish lifestyle that kind of goes against the grain of what society has been for the last couple of decades.

Thank you for explaining that. You're welcome. I appreciate it. I just, I wasn't, I just keep hearing it in interviews, mind you not. And I'm always just like shaking my head, yes. Really, sure, okay.

And if you want, you can keep it in for your audience. It actually was a good explanation. Perfect. And so I am from Michigan. I am a mom of three. kids. I have a 19 year old, a 15 year old, and a nine year old boy.

My first two are girls, I've been married for 21 years. And I've also been a an attorney for 22. But I've been an attorney specializing in childbirth cases since February 2003. So 2021 years doing that.

So but I have focused my career on these types of cases. And just so your audience understands, these are cases that involve the birth of a baby when something goes wrong. And baby is not born healthy.

Sometimes baby may pass during childbirth, sometimes mom will pass during childbirth. So as the attorney on these cases, I come in, and I've traveled the country, basically hashing out labor and delivery and childbirth with, you know, the delivery teams across the United States.

But as my job, I come in and I'm asking the teams, you know, when I'm traveling country like, Hey, what happened? what went wrong, but more importantly, what I always want to know is what should have been done.

So baby was born healthy or mom around to raise her baby. So I took, at the time I had 19 years experience doing that. And I decided to take that experience and write a book for expecting parents, expecting grandparents, friends of expecting parents, you name it.

It's really for anybody who wants to help a mom or a mom, basically avoid these mistakes and complications that I have seen for 21 years now and have a healthy baby. Because I can tell you in these cases, they're reoccurring issues, there's reoccurring things.

And if parents are aware of these and they have a heightened sense of awareness and they can use that to activate their intuition, they can make those good decisions to make sure they have a healthy baby.

So you're basically the attorney that we never want to meet, right? Cause that means something bad happens. Do you know how I say that every day? Yes, you don't want to ever meet me in person. Unfortunately, I do, I am a kind person.

I like to have fun, but in a professional capacity, I am not somebody that you want to meet. Yeah, especially if you're an expecting parent. Yeah, but obviously you're really good at your job. So heaven forbid something happen, you're the person we should call, right?

Cause you know what you're doing. So you mentioned that there's lots of recurring things that you've seen over the span of your career that cause complications that might end in loss of life, whether it's the baby or the mom.

Can you just talk to us about what some of those common reoccurrences are and help us have an idea of some of the common dangers? Oh, sure. This is so incredibly important, especially- Especially with what you said at the beginning of the podcast with, you know, just maybe you have a hospital birth that, you know, you can do safely.

Maybe that's not medicated. You know, there's somewhere like this in between, you know, even home births or a medicated hospital birth. So it's important to understand what these common issues and facts are in these cases.

So the number one most common fact and issue in the cases are Pitocin. And Pitocin is in the majority of my cases. Pitocin is the drug that induces mom's labor by making her uterus contract. Her body typically then follows and then she goes into labor with the idea of giving birth.

So that is by far one of the most common fact all day long. So think about it though. What's the opposite of that? A natural spontaneous vaginal birth. Those cases that involve a natural birth, meaning you're not medicated, you're at the hospital.

My cases are hospital -based. These cases are few and far between. So natural birth, I rarely see a case involving an all -natural birth. There's always pitocin and medical interventions. So by far, if you wanna have, I shouldn't say, if you wanna have an experience where there's less risk of a complication or a mistake, then you definitely wanna take the natural way.

If that's possible, that might not be possible for you. And that's fine, that's another reason I wrote my book. Because while pitocin is the number one most common fact, I've seen the pitocin inductions gone wrong since February 2003.

I've researched the drug. When I travel the country, I talk to the delivery teams about the drug, highly researched this drug. So what I did then was write a chapter on how to have a safe pitocin induction.

Some doctors may read this chapter and be like, yes, this is how I practice. That's awesome, congrats. You might have a really good doctor. Other doctors may be more aggressive in their approach with pitocin and may be like, no.

But pitocin is a very individualized drug. So how your body's going to respond to it, how baby's gonna respond to it, that depends on you. And if you've never been on it, then it's really important to make sure it's a slow and steady process.

So that's definitely something that's the most important number one issue. Then the other issues in the cases that I think are important. Most mistakes or complications occur after mom's water breaks.

So if you're a doctor, remember mom, you're the decision maker, your doctor, your delivery team. They're always making recommendations to you. typically based upon their training and experience in the field.

So if they recommend to you, we want to break your bag of water, you want to make sure that that's for a medical reason and that's what's good for baby. And it's not because doctor wants to be home for dinner.

It's a very important because that you gotta remember, baby isn't you, if baby is in your uterus, the doctor cannot see inside your uterus and look at baby's environment. So if baby is doing well and your water is intact, baby is comfy.

Even if you go into labor, your water can stay intact. And, but once that water drains out, the environment in your uterus where baby lives changes. And it can make baby more vulnerable to, you know, something bad happening.

And that's really kind of where your complications and mistakes can occur. So that is an extremely important thing that all parents need to understand. And another one is very important, is a busy labor and delivery unit.

Babies wanna come when babies wanna come. Units can get extremely busy. If you're ever put in a spare room, they ever say, oh, this is our extra room because we don't have any. That's like huge warning for some odd reason that happens in my cases.

But when you have a team that's running hard, they're running thin, you know, it's like eyes off the prize. And so it's important that you do have certain things that you understand about childbirth.

So in your delivery team, they're with other patients or whatnot, you understand or your husband understands or your mom, somebody who's an advocate for you kinda understands what's going on so you can work together with your delivery team, you know, to make sure babies stay safe and healthy.

Oh my goodness, you said so many things in there that I wanna unpack. So we're gonna try and do it in order that you talked about. First, Pitocin. I know probably a lot of the mamas listening are familiar with Pitocin in the sense that they know it's associated with a medicated birth, but I feel like most moms don't actually know what Pitocin is.

Can you tell us just very briefly what it is? And like you mentioned what it does, but kind of gives a little bit more in -depth detail about Pitocin. Okay, so Pitocin is a drug and it is meant to mimic your natural oxytocin.

So your body naturally produces oxytocin and that's what gets your uterus to contract. So your natural oxytocin, if you have a natural delivery and without Pitocin, then, you know, that's what your body's meant to do.

But then they have this drug Pitocin that they use to mimic oxytocin, the natural one. And they're artificial contractions. And just so you understand, you know, baby is in your uterus. And when you have a contraction, your uterus squeezes down on baby.

And for that short period of time, baby does not get oxygen. It's like when your uterus contracts and squeezes down on baby, it's almost similar to you going underwater. And then you come back, you come back up once the contraction releases.

Now, nobody freak out. That is, babies are made to handle contractions. That is completely normal. But they're also really just made to handle the contractions with those natural oxytocin levels. So if you have pitocin, that is increased too much or too soon.

And all of a suddenly your body starts going into this, you know, pitocin, oxytocin overdrive. That can stress your baby out. And that's what we typically start to see in the cases is baby gets stressed out and then baby, you know, after a while baby just doesn't do great.

So that's, so basically the Pitocin makes your uterus contract and then that gets the ball rolling with labor. Okay, you explained that very, very well. I love that you pointed out that there are ways that we can work with Pitocin to avoid the complications.

Like you said, if you do it too fast, too soon, you're not really mindful of how your body's reacting to it. That's when complications arise, right? So it's not like Pitocin is all bad 100% of the time and we should always avoid it.

It's we should be informed about what Pitocin is. We should understand how it works with our body. And we should have an idea of how we want to interact with it if that is something that's gonna be a part of our labor, right?

This is something that I did with my second labor. So I was induced with both of my kids, but with my second baby, I decided that I wanted to be a lot more controlled about how we were using Pitocin and I couldn't really avoid using it because I was being induced.

But what we did is we gave me the minimal dose and we did it for an hour and we wanted to see how my body responded. Was I kind of starting to progress in labor on my own or did I need a little bit more help?

And so after an hour, we reevaluated and we gave just a small increment, higher in Pitocin. So we increased it just a little bit more and we gave my body 30, 45 minutes to see how it responded. And I think that made a really big difference for me because it took away the fear of, oh my gosh, something bad is gonna happen because I'm being induced.

and I'm having to use Pitocin. But I recognized that it was medically necessary and that there was a way that I could make it as safe as possible for me and for my baby. And honestly, it made all the difference in my birth because I ended up using, I don't know what the units are, we started at two and only increased up to six, I think.

And so I ended up only using six units, whatever they are, of Pitocin. And then after a while, my body kind of kicked into gear and we actually dialed it back down. So there was still a little bit going through my system, but I didn't need a lot once labor kind of started progressing.

And so I was able to rely on my body's own production of oxytocin and focus on how I was feeling and how baby and I were reacting rather than just saying, pump me full of Pitocin. Let's get this over with possible and give my power over to the medical provider.

I'm incredibly impressed with you. So literally that, okay, audience, just do that. Okay, that's my chapter right there, literally. And that I'm so happy. And you know, the more I do these shows and I talk to moms, especially the ones I've had the toasts in your story is very similar to other stories.

The Pitocin, you know, at first maybe, you know, a little much or whatnot. They have a healthy baby, but okay. So the next time they really take it the second time around really slow, slow and steady, but yeah, slow and steady.

But you know, until it hits that sweet spot, that's perfect because that is hopefully then not going to stress baby. And I'm really impressed that you guys waited up to an hour. Usually they get antsy, but you want Pitocin to run.

They call it at a steady state. And that can actually take up to 90 minutes. Good to know. All of that is in the chapter. And I believe it's six on the Pitocin that mimics the contractions you should have during spontaneous labor.

It's either six, I'm drawing a blank. I just picked my book up to look at. So there's six or eight, it's in chapter 14. That's all you need to mimic natural contractions. And you know, I even go in my book on not even going over 10.

So doctors like to do an order for 20. And actually I just, about 20. And then that means the nurse who's running your Pitocin induction can take it to 20 without talking to your doctor again. I recommend stopping it at 10.

Right before I published my book, a big study came out basically saying that after 10 milliunits, your body goes into that oxytocin. and Pitocin overdrive, and it'll just hit hard. So they recommend not going over 10.

Now listen, you may need to go over 10, everybody's different. But what happens with these doctors orders is that once they get to 10, if that's what you need, then they contact the doctor and a discussion about your labor then has to be conducted with the doctor.

And then he may put it in order to extend it to 20. But that also makes a conversation happen about your labor. And that's again, if you're on a Pitocin induction and if it's running at 10, you want to make sure your delivery team's communicating with each other because your nurse runs that pit induction and really just communicates with your doctor.

And unless your doctor picked up a 12 hour shift that day, they're typically not at the hospital. Yeah, I love that you point that out. The idea is that if you... do need to go outside of these recommendations where maybe you do need more than 10 units, or you're on Pitocin longer than you expected because things aren't progressing quickly, that's okay.

It's just important that you know what's going on, you're informed, and you force a conversation, not like force like a rude way, but like you make sure that a conversation happens with your doctor, so it's not just like, well, I guess I'll wait for the doc to decide what to do with my body.

It's like, no, this is your body, your baby, your delivery, and if you have these concerns about Pitocin, but you see that there's a need to change and do something different than what you were expecting, then you absolutely should be having a conversation saying, hey, these are my concerns, how can we still take care of me the way that I want and do this other thing that I wasn't planning on and have that conversation?

I think communication, just like in marriages or relationships, communication is gonna be the number one thing that will keep mom and baby safe during delivery, am I right? 100%, that's, yes, excellent.

That will definitely help everything, but in order to effectively communicate, you have to understand what you're communicating, and then during that communication, decisions are gonna be made. In these cases, keep in mind families are one decision or minutes from a healthy baby, so these decisions are important for sure, and these are also, once you get into labor, you enter this different state of mind, you're in a bunch of pain, you're focusing on this baby in your belly, and you're like, okay, I'm getting ready to hold my baby, and so you're gonna enter this different state of mind when you're in labor, and I actually, in my book, I quote a doctor.

and he's an older doctor, actually he's not, he just retired, but been delivering babies forever. And he testified in a case that moms should be given all of their options and have all of these discussions before they even go into labor.

So at Pitocin, I always used to say, if you're considering elective Pitocin induction, or if you're considering a Pitocin induction, just make sure you read chapter 14, because it will help guide you on what to talk to your doctor about during the pregnancy.

Because I do believe all of these conversations should happen during the pregnancy about Pitocin. However, as I kept saying that, I kept realizing that in the introduction of my book, for instance, it's a story about my niece.

And she was 38 weeks pregnant, she was not in labor. She went to the hospital just to have him check on baby because she wasn't feeling well and baby wasn't doing good. She was given two options, C -section or Pitocin induction, but because she...

never planned on having Pitocin or didn't want Pitocin, she didn't know anything about Pitocin. So I've even gone to the point where when you're talking to your doctor and you're pregnant, you need to have the Pitocin discussion with your doctor just on the off chance that he is going to or she is going to recommend it and you have to undergo a Pitocin induction because I believe and I believe I know because as a childbirth attorney, am I a fan of Pitocin?

Clearly not, it's in most of my cases. So, but doctors, I've asked them over the last 21 years or I've told them, I'm like, I don't like Pitocin. It's in all my cases and they continually say the same thing, Gina Pitocin is fine.

Gina Pitocin is fine. And I'm like, okay, that's fine. As long as it's fine, it can be fine. Where the doctors disagree in my cases and in general is how to administer the drug. So it's just very important during your pregnancy, if you're pregnant, just on the off chance you may need Pitocin, just finding out, learning about it and then also talking to your doctor.

Okay, if you have to order Pitocin for me for some reason, what's your order gonna say? And to have that discussion before you go into labor, before, while you're sitting there. So you can have that conversation with your doctor.

You can go home, you can research Pitocin. You can Google the drug insert if you want for Pitocin. You could read my chapter and find out if you wanna make any recommendations for the doctor to change his order because a lot of them just do the same order every single time.

It's very generic, even though it's such an individualized drug. Yeah, I totally agree. And I wanna touch on something that you said about talking beforehand and coming up with a game plan of sorts before you go into labor because if you're trying to make decisions or at least learn something.

while you're in labor that's too late because it goes pretty quick and there's a lot of things that are going on and you know doctors have more than just you as their patients so it's important to learn beforehand and come up with a game plan and every time I talk about having a birth plan with moms they kind of sit there and they're like what's the point of having a plan if it's never gonna go the way that I want or if I can't like predict exactly how my labor is gonna go and I sit there and I say it's not like you're saying okay first I'm going to go into labor at 703 a .m.

and then I'm gonna be in active labor for two and a half hours and then I'm gonna give birth before lunch like it's not like that it's saying okay if I go into spontaneous labor I want to be prepared for anything that could happen during labor so if things aren't progressing and doctor suggests things like vacuum or forceps?

Do I want to use those? For my husband and I, we decided that we would rather me have a c -section than use either of those instruments. And so part of our birth plan was saying if for some reason baby's not doing okay and we need intervention to get baby out, our next game plan is going to be a c -section.

We're just going to skip the instruments altogether. So it's things like that where you learn what your options are. You read Gina's book. You see all the different things that she's learned and the different options that you have.

You use my free resources like I have a free guide that says 25 questions you should ask your doctor during pregnancy and it takes you through each trimester. Here are the questions you need to ask at your first prenatal appointment.

Here are the questions you need to ask prior to your gestational diabetes testing. So I've got resources like that that help as well, but basically doing your research, learning about your options, and then deciding what you are and aren't comfortable with.

And then you have that game plan going into labor so that you can communicate with your doctor and say I'm not comfortable doing that. Can we do this instead? Or can you help me find another option that you agree is safe and that I agree is okay for me and my baby?

And you advocate and you have those conversations because it's important to have a plan before you go into labor. You are brilliant. I love talking to you. Maybe we can write a book together. I know like wow that is amazing.

So I'll just comment. I just want to follow up with like a couple things that first of all I am completely on the same page as you. You know the fact that you can't plan your birth is exactly why you need a plan.

But my spin on a plan has always been a little bit different as a childbirth attorney because for me and what I recommend it's more of the act of preparing the plan than the plan itself. Very true. Now, right, you're in the comfort of like your own home and you can ask questions, you can talk to your doctor, you can think of the different decisions that you're gonna make.

And I have a whole chapter on my book on, you know, things that you need to consider in your plan. And again, it's much different than a normal pregnancy book. It's not about your music, it's not about your sense, anything like that.

Now, listen, if that makes you relax and have easier time to have the baby, great. That's not what my book is, but go read another pregnancy book, read. But again, it's the act of preparing, right? So you can read my book, like you said, you can read a different book and whatnot.

But, you know, the vacuum forceps decision, I mean, I focus on that a little bit in that chapter because that is such an important, important decision. You know, I've already said, You know, in my cases, families are one decision or minutes from a healthy baby.

I'm literally talking about vacuum and forceps because in a lot of the cases, what happens is these discussions do not happen beforehand and something does happen with baby during a Pitocin induction and they, your doctor, you know, your doctor is most likely going to be a vacuum person or they're going to be a forceps person, but the doctor will grab the vacuum.

Well, listen, the vacuum, what happens is they pull during a contraction and they can only really pull three times and they must convert to a C -section. When you have a baby that is struggling, that's too much time.

Only so much time can pass before something really bad may happen to baby. So, you know, sometimes, or when you have this discussion, vacuum forceps with your doctor, or you want to just convert right to a C -section, I mean, that's just so incredibly important.

Now, your audience may be like, okay, then why doesn't everybody do forceps? Listen, forceps is definitely a skill and it seems to be the older doctors that are still doing it, but it seems like the residents are not, they're going for the vacuum, not the forceps.

And they don't like, a lot of people don't like forceps because it can cause a lot of vaginal trauma. However, forceps don't pop off. And I have never had a case where they had to go forceps and convert to a C -section.

So these are the discussions, especially if you're going to have Pitocin, that you need to understand and talk to your doctor because these are, so a lot of times what happens in the cases, these are the few minutes, these are the decisions that ultimately end up in baby not being healthy.

So if you can talk to your doctor, make your decisions ahead of time, it's definitely, you'll be. you'll have a good understanding, you know, to help work with your team and make those good decisions and, you know, and obviously good decisions.

You're, you know, typically equal, you know, healthy baby.

Yeah, so just to summarize what we've been talking about, because we've gone through a lot, to summarize what we've been talking about, the gist is ask questions and not only listen to how your doctor describes things or the information that your doctor gives you but also do your research elsewhere.

Talk to other moms who have had experiences with certain things. Talk to moms that have had an emergency C -section. Talk to moms who opted for a scheduled C -section. Talk to moms who opted for a scheduled induction like me.

I have an entire podcast episode all about my birth story and the reason I wanted to do that is because my induction was so unique in how I approached it and the different choices that I made around my induction.

I wanted moms to know that there are options out there and you don't have to do it just the standard default way that your doctor's probably going to recommend. It's not that your doctor doesn't have your best interest at heart, it's just they choose the path of travel that's proven most by time or is the most convenient for everybody or is just the quickest and you don't have to follow that just because your doctor said so.

You have an opportunity to advocate for it. for yourself. And that's what we've been talking about and like hinting at. But now I really want to get into how we have these conversations with our doctor because I feel like a lot of moms say, okay, well, how do I talk to my doctor without basically saying, I don't trust you or your credentials don't matter to me or I'm smarter than you?

That's usually the concern that moms bring to me is I don't know how to say it in a way that doesn't sound condescending or mistrusting. So can you maybe give us some scripts or some ideas of how we can have these conversations with our doctor?

Yeah, it's easy. Just bring my book to your doctor appointment and say, Gina recommends XYZ. If you don't want to talk to, if you're nervous about how your doctor is going to respond, just throw me under the bus, I'm fine with it.

And here's a secret. You can go on my website and literally there's like contact Gina. and my email and or form or whatever is right there, that goes to my phone. So if you're in a prenatal appointment and they're giving you a bunch of crap, have them call me.

I'll be, I'll talk to them. Good to know. They'll let me know what's going on in the email and wave your, you know, doctor, patient privilege. But anyway, but you know, listen, here's the deal with that.

Since I was a little girl playing with baby dolls, I mean, I imagined this big day where I would have my first baby and my second baby. I mean, I dreamt of this day, my entire life. This is such an important day.

And I can tell you that, you know, the families in these cases, they're changed forever. They're, they, they explained to me, they have two lives. They have the pre -baby life before their baby was born and they have a completely different life after their baby's born.

So don't be afraid. Don't worry about the doctor's feelings. Don't worry about insulting them. You're advocating for your little baby. And now, you know, this, I get this question a lot on podcasts. Why is this information just coming out?

Why is this just surfacing? This is also information. And my response to that really is, because a childbirth attorney never thought to, you know, write a book. Because unlike your doctor, unlike your delivery team, I only see, I only see the bad stuff.

So not only do I only see the bad stuff, I have to analyze it for years. These cases take years to go through a system. And I can tell you, like we said earlier in this podcast, you never want to meet me.

And if you're afraid of how your doctor feels and you're worried about that, I'm sorry. But you know, in the end, you may meet me one day and that's not what you want. So when you're talking to your doctor, I do go through ways to communicate and basically, is your basic communication skills.

It's understanding what you're communicating. So, okay, I'm considering an elective induction. I have read Gina Mundy's book. My book is getting out there to the doctors and you know, actually they like it.

The nurses love it. They've, I've gotten great feedback from them. But if you want to go through, Gina says we're going to start at one and then we're going to wait a while and then we're only going to go up one more and whatever.

And because she has seen all these bad things happen. And so I, I, I've listened to her on podcasts. I've read her books. I've been on her website, you know, show that you've done some research before you throw me under the bus and, you know, and go from there.

But I think educating yourself. So the doctor knows you have done your research that they're going to give you, they should respect you. And here's the deal. If you're a doctor, you have done your research and you're communicating concerns or how you want something done, or you're asking questions and your doctor is not communicating with you or you feel like you can't ask your doctor something, that is a red flag.

I have chapter four, possibly five, I think it's four. Chapter four, it is chapter four of my book, and it's how to pick the good doctor because I have analyzed OB -GYNs for 21 years. There's a whole doctor analysis that I do.

A big part of my doctor analysis is how they communicate. And this is why it's important for your doctor to communicate effectively. Your delivery team, your doctor heads that delivery team, and like I said earlier, your doctor's not at the hospital typically, and as they pick up a shift, your delivery team consists of the people who are working that day.

So those two delivery team, whoever that's made up of, if you have residents, midwives, nurses, people who are at bedside with you have to communicate with your doctor. So, and they have to do that effectively.

In my cases, there is 100% a breakdown in communication. I write this in the book. So if your doctor sucks at communicating with you, they likely suck at communicating with your delivery team, that's a problem.

So you should have a doctor you are comfortable with and that you can talk to. And if you don't, you may want to consider getting a different doctor. And if you really do like that doctor, and you really do believe they're gonna bring your baby safely into this world, just remember, don't worry about hurting their feelings.

Just remember that you're advocating for your baby, for your healthy babies, so that moment you've been dreaming of your entire life, you can enjoy it. Yeah, you brought up some really good points and I want to add some.

possible wording or some scripts onto that so that moms have you know have a little bit more confidence behind the words because sometimes you know it's how we say it that can get mixed up so for instance sometimes what I've started with as I've said hey I've I've heard about let's let's pick a pretend scenario so I said okay I've heard from some different health care professionals and some different moms that I've talked to that Pitocin can have some risks and some dangers can you explain to me what Pitocin is and where things might get a little tricky and you let your doctor tell them or tell you in their own words and it's not to try and trap them it's not to it's not to ask a question you already know the answer to, it's to give your doctor an opportunity to enter the conversation, right?

So you ask that question, you let them tell you in their own words whatever you need to know, and then you can listen, you can say, okay, thanks so much for sharing that with me. These are some concerns that I have about my body or these are some of the preferences that I have for how I would like to deliver my baby.

Is it possible to do XYZ, whatever you want, and still be safe? Or is it possible to avoid Pitocin unless XYZ happens and you're not asking permission, you're asking for their opinion, you're asking for their recommendation because they are the experts so they know what's safe and what's not safe and what you're trying to do is see if what you want to do falls within the safety boundaries of medical care.

So yeah, you can say something along the lines of, okay, so with that information and my preferences, how can we satisfy your needs for keeping me and baby safe and my desires for how I want to have my delivery?

That's a good example. I'll give a really specific one. So when I was going in for my, when I was talking to my doctor about my elective induction, the reason I chose to be induced is because my husband was being deployed but we didn't have a set date.

They were waiting for me to have my baby but they kept having planes that were coming up and they were trying to put my husband on the plane and so we were worried that all of a sudden he was going to get put on a plane before baby came and then he would be gone and we really wanted him to be there for the birth.

So we decided to be induced so that we could have control over my husband being there at the birth. didn't want to use Pitocin if I didn't have to and I didn't want to be stuck in bed for 12 -24 hours.

So I looked at my doctor and I said, hey, how do we feel about breaking my water before using Pitocin? I would rather have my water broken at the hospital and see if my body responds to that before we just assume that we're gonna start using Pitocin.

And he's like, yeah, you know, if you want to have your water broken instead of starting your induction with Pitocin, you need to be dilated to two centimeters at least and you need to be at least 50% effaced.

And those were the parameters that he gave me and I said, okay, well, is there anything that I can do to influence that so that my body is prepared for that ahead of time? And he said, okay, well, You know you can you can do the curb walking and you can do this and you can do this to try and get baby to labor down and You know Thankfully he had known about dates and red raspberry leaf tea.

That's my expertise, but he actually recommended that He's like you could try some nutritional things as well and see if that helps your body dilate in the face a little bit more and if you hit those milestones when you come in for your induction Then we can hold off on the Pitocin Until we see a need for it.

And so we went into the hospital. I was two centimeters dilated 70% of face. I had a little happy dance. We broke my water and About two hours later. My body hadn't progressed that much and so then we had a conversation about okay It's time to use Pitocin.

How do we want to do it? What do I feel comfortable with what's safe and we moved on from there? But what I want to highlight is that I was able to have a conversation and not minimize my doctor but also not Let my doctor make all the decisions for me.

And I think that's the whole point of what you and I are trying to communicate to the listeners is that there's so much power in having a conversation and recognizing that your doctor is not the decision maker they are your What's the word I'm looking for?

They're your advisor, right? They have the expertise They know more than you do and they're gonna sit there and be like, hey, this is our circumstance This is what I recommend But it's up to you to make that decision based on your doctor's recommendations.

They're not the one making the calls for you. I Love it. I love that. What you just said is absolutely absolutely Amazing. So yeah, and I love that you asked your questions You got the doctor engaged and then your doctor worked with you.

Sounds like you had a really good doctor I have a very I went through two other ones before I landed on him. So I actually like shocked around to find a doctor that I felt comfortable with. So very lucky.

Yeah, that's huge. And now keep in mind, the doctors, and it's in the chapter, different doctors, different opinions, I get it all the time. I have a case that comes in and something went wrong and baby's not born healthy.

So in these cases, I have to retain medical experts. So these are doctors who deliver babies that are now being paid just to look at the medical records and the care to tell me, was this good care or bad care?

And I will have two doctors, and literally I've had two doctors from the same hospital do this. I will have two doctors look at the same exact care of a baby and mom. And one doctor will tell me everything was done perfectly and another doctor will tell me everything was done wrong.

So you got to remember and these these I think since babies inside you I think there's just a lot of different opinions doctors can have because a doctor can look at mom and if mom's in a bunch of pain or something's up the doctor can physically assess you communicate with you and make a diagnosis and plan babies are so much different there's a lot more that goes on because you know baby babies inside you so it's it's really I think just more important to understand though that doctors do have different opinions and especially early in my career I would be in a deposition or meeting with the doctor and I would be like why do you why does one doctor believe everything was done wrong and why does another doctor believe everything was done right and you know they can't even tell me so it's important that even if your doctor doesn't agree with you another doctor may I rarely get two doctors of the same exact opinion very rarely because when we have these cases they eventually do go to trial and then the doctors you know basically all our testimony and care and opinions gets you know really very tedious you know picked at and then you put them against each other because they don't ever agree overall on something but with that said just because your doctor again may not agree maybe somebody else does but just because your doctor doesn't agree with you that does not by any means make you wrong or or whatnot yeah and I think some moms listening might be like oh my gosh now I'm scared because doctors don't agree and they all went to the same medical school and have the same degree for me that gives me a vote of confidence that I can have an opinion and I can do something different than the the standard procedure the standard of care that gives me some leeway to say hey I want to try something different is that okay and And so mamas take heart that, yes, they all have the same training, they all went to medical school and I don't personally, I don't think a doctor will ever actually recommend something that's not safe.

It just comes down to, you know, in the moment decisions, lack of communication and difference of opinions, right? Some doctors, like you said, prefer vacuum, some prefer forceps, some will just skip it and say, and let's just go do a c -section.

So yeah, just have confidence that it is okay to ask questions and share your preferences because people are going to have different opinions. So along those lines, we've talked a lot about some scary things that can happen.

We've talked about talking to our doctor. And we know you as a childbirth attorney that you deal with all of the Scary things that we don't ever want to have to experience and you wrote a book to help us do that So I think my biggest question about your book is if I read this book Is it gonna make me more scared for labor?

Is it gonna make me more worried about what's gonna happen or? Is it gonna help me be more at peace as I prepare for labor? Right So my books not about what can go wrong It's how to make sure if you can go right and I do get this question a lot Is the book gonna scare me?

And you know scary, you know, is there fear? Listen fear is the unknown The way to conquer fear is to learn something and educate educate yourself so it's So and then so I and I've always been very cautious when I do speak to a mom who's expecting Because I will say early in my career when I was starting to learn about these cases And I was maybe talking to a family member that was pregnant They would almost start going like deer in the headlights with me because I was not as fluffy I was I was kind of direct.

I learned quickly. There were certain words. I could not say But sometimes what I have to say is so incredibly important because it's based upon what I know based upon what I've learned The worst thing I could do would be to shut down a mom and then that would obviously my eyes put her You know, it wouldn't it would allow her or wouldn't allow her to learn what she may need to know to have a healthy baby So no, I have mastered that or the so I think right so what I did to make sure That it was not a scary book or was not intimidating as I found six pregnant beta readers Which actually believe it or not was not hard and they seemed to be popping out of the woodwork when you're you know You're writing a book.

It's like oh my friends pregnant my friends pregnant, you know So I got six of them and they were all different new moms my I had a nurse She was in her 40s second baby one nurse 30s third baby and so forth and they went all of them went through my book before it was published and my number one question to them was is my book scary and they were like Gina your book is not scary and you know they were just very appreciative that they were able to get the information before you know before they had their babies and I can officially say all of the beta readers now have had healthy babies okay that's awesome I want to reiterate something that you said just in case the listeners didn't hear it you said fear comes from the unknown and I love that you pointed that out it's not it's not knowing what can happen and like worrying that that's going to be you it's not knowing what's going on and not knowing what to expect and not understanding how the choices being made are going to affect you.

That's why I started my career, is because there was so much that no one ever told me about being a mom and breastfeeding and how to take care of myself while I'm raising kids. And that's what stressed me out the most, is I was like, I don't know what I don't know.

So I don't know how to ask for help. I don't know how to fix my situation. And so I think your book gives us that knowledge that we need to be able to say, okay, well, this is what can happen and here's what we can do about it.

And just like you said, you've got a chapter, I think you said you have a chapter about how to choose your doctor. You've got a chapter about how to talk to your doctor. You've got so many different things in there that are geared towards helping us have knowledge so that we don't have to be afraid.

And we have the courage to have those hard conversations and say, listen, we need to talk about this because I want to have a healthy baby, right? So I'm so grateful your book is out there. And I think my husband and I, I mean, we've already had two kids, but I'm gonna sit down with my husband and we're gonna read it next time we get pregnant so that we can go through and be even more empowered next time.

I love it. That is awesome. That makes me so happy. So, but I'll tell you, you, what you say, we are so on the same page. It is, it's just unbelievable. I love listening to you because this is such great information that parents need to know, friends of friends, whoever, that can help you literally have a healthy baby.

I mean, your story of your Pitocin induction is so incredibly powerful. It almost makes me want to cry because, you know, I'm telling you, it's so hard to sit down with the families and talk to them.

It's just... always wait heavily on me as a wife, a mom and whatnot. So I'm out there like, okay, hey, this is it. Instead of being involved in the aftermath of something going wrong, I'm trying to get involved before, but then I meet you and I'm like, thank you.

Thank you for getting this information out and your thoughts. I mean, I just, thank you for doing what you do. You're just absolutely brilliant. Oh my goodness, you're so kind. Thank you for being the person that has to do all the hard stuff.

I can't even imagine being in your shoes. So I think between your book and my resources, I think our mamas are gonna feel really, really empowered as they go into birth, would you say so? A hundred percent.

And listen, if you have any questions out there, your son's not sitting right. You don't know how to communicate with the dear doctor. You heard something on this podcast and you're like, what is Gina talking about?

Feel free, go on my website, email me. It literally goes to my phone. And again, unless I'm drinking wine, I will respond. But sometimes at night, I do like to have my wine. So that's the only thing, as long as I'm not.

And I don't, you know, but tonight I'm going to work out with my daughter. So I won't be drinking wine if you need anything. Okay, perfect. Well, we'll make sure to put your book in the show notes. Is it available on Amazon or other major retailers?

Where can we find it? Yeah, so the best place to always go for me right now, again, is my website, Gina Mundy, G -I -N -A -M -U -N -D -Y .com. Especially if you're listening to this podcast, you know, six months later or a year later, because there's a bunch of good stuff on there for expecting parents, like the link to my book and the best place to buy it.

Right now, the easiest place is probably just to go on Amazon and put my name in the search bar and it pops up. Okay, so we'll make sure to link your website and the Amazon link in the show notes, as well as my birth story and my free download for questions and communicating with your provider during pregnancy.

Trying to think if there's anything else that we talked about today. I think we covered lots. We had a really good conversation. And, you know, I've gone through birth twice and I still learn something from you every time we talk, Gina.

So I know that the mamas listening are probably like overloaded with information. So if you need to listen to this episode again, listen to it again so you can really ingrain what Gina's talking about because she knows her stuff.

Gina, is there anything else that you would say to our moms before we close? Just get ready, just get prepared. And I do, I didn't mention this yet, but right now I do have chapter one of my book on my website that's downloadable, shareable.

And then I also have, And by the way, I know I mentioned this, but chapter one are all the lessons from the baby cases as a lesson, you're learning from it in order to help prevent it from happening again.

So chapter one is just absolutely huge. And then also the introduction to the book is important and why I wrote it. It's a good story. It's, and I won't ruin the end, but both of those are on my website for your audience to read.

Perfect. Well, Gina, before we close, I have a question that I ask all my guests and that is what is a non -negotiable to you to living a well -nourished life? Working out. That's, listen, working out is not just physical and I would say also eating healthy.

It's mandatory. It's working out is so mental for me that it really helps me through my day. It releases my endorphins to make me happy. But yeah, non -negotiable is, yes, I will never, ever stop working out.

But with that, I also tend to try to eat healthier, except on Fridays and Saturdays. Perfect. Well, thank you so much for coming on the podcast, Gina. It was such a treat to have you here. I learned so much.

I know our mamas learned so much as well. How can we connect with you and learn more from you? As we move forward and have more babies and all the things? Yeah, so genomeundie .com is the best way. But I'm on Instagram, and I've really been focusing on posting my different things on Instagram.

So that's good. Or Facebook even has genomeundie, author. There's other information there. But Instagram really is the social media of choice. I'm trying to spread my wings, but get on maybe TikTok or something like that.

But it hasn't happened yet. Until I wrote a book and published it in June 2023, I didn't post much, except maybe a picture of my dog, maybe my kids for Christmas or something like that. But I've just never been a big social media person.

So getting out there has actually been pretty fun. I'm enjoying it. Okay, perfect. So websites, Instagram, and then obviously go buy your book. Perfect. Thank you so much, Gina. Mamas, we will see you in the next episode.

And that's the end of another episode. I hope you loved today's topic as much as I did. You can find all of today's show notes and details at thewellnourishedmama .com slash podcast, as well as all of my recipes and resources on the blog.

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