What is Reproductive Health Consulting?

It’s not just for fertility and pregnancy. Reproductive health care consulting covers the range of needs around hormonal, sexual, and general health and well being for all people - regardless of their plans for having children now or in the future. Every * Body could use some non-judgemental, individual, and compassionate care around these issues.

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It seems like all of us at some point have brushed up against the myriad of disheartening, scary, and infuriating low points in our health care system. There are countless complicated reasons for why even routine clinical visits have become so rife with issues.

One of the biggest downsides of this situation is increasingly rushed appointments from overly specialized providers who are not able (or sometimes willing) to spend the time going over the many nuances of being a person with a whole human body.

In the world of birth, this gap has been filled largely with doulas, who not only attend births, but spend a good deal of time with their clients prenatally in order to give more personalized, varied, and distinctive counsel to the families they are supporting. Though they don’t make clinical assessments or recommendations, they may spend up to four hours a visit with their clients going over the ins and outs of why certain clinical situations have arisen and their options for how to manage them. This is done according to experience as well as through spending time with the current research on all things birth and postpartum.

Similar to a doula’s role in the childbearing year, a health consultant works with individuals who may feel that their general gynecological / sexual health appointments aren’t meeting their needs. Often they are feeling rushed to make a decision they don’t understand and anxious about what may come of it. They have tons of lingering questions about hormonal health and balance, uncomfortable periods, sexual health and satisfaction, diet and exercise needs and how it affects their mood and hormonal balance, and so much more. A reproductive health consultant is for more than just fertility and pregnancy!

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There is a lot of pressure in the medical community to diagnose quickly. Some of that is due to very real and important data on early diagnosis and prevention and how it can result in more successful treatment. However, it can also lead to lots of misdiagnosis and extreme measures, which can then lead to more problems than at the start.

Health consultants can help find the happy middle ground between quick care and fine-tuned, individualized care. Acting as a doula would, a health consultant (in Rosewood’s case, a consultant for overall reproductive health needs) will meet with clients in a non-clinical setting, often for 2-4 hours at a time, reviewing the situation to-date, not leaving out the emotional, budgetdary, and highly specific needs of whoever they are working with at that time. Their counsel may be entirely different for two people dealing with the very same issue. One person might be leaning more toward a more typically allopathic approach to treatment where another finds more solace (and perhaps evidence) in seeking care from outside of the Western medical paradigm. Interestingly enough, they may both arrive at the same healthy ending.

There is strength in working tangentially to, but very much outside of the current health care framework in the United States. Health consultants do not have to deal with insurance policies, hospital protocol, clinical trial parameters, pharmaceutical reps pushing this or that drug, or having to meet licensing quotas. Keeping an eye toward all angles means catching more folks before they fall into some of those common pitfalls. Consultants are able to extend their networking reach, taking more time to get to know the individual styles, backgrounds, and treatment approaches of practitioners in their area, or even just learning more about the various modalities and how they might help with a particular concern.

This is increasingly important in an environment where the major pitfalls in health care have spawned a dazzling variety of predatorily marketed alternatives. Trying to keep track of what works and what is a waste of time is a full time job if you have a major health concern.

A health consultant can be a huge help in first, explaining what may or may not be happening and why, then directing you toward high-quality research as well as resources that can fit with your preferred methods of care. Though this might lead to modalities that are seen as less conventional, esoteric, or even silly to some, there is sound evidence to support the role of belief and intention in positive treatment outcomes. The understanding of the machinations behind those results is still fuzzy, but the point is this : If you don’t believe something is going to make you feel better, you’re unlikely to invest time and energy in it, so it is very unlikely to help you. A health consultant won’t tell you to go against medical advice, necessarily, but they are going to light the path toward something you may be more likely to participate in, making it more likely you’ll see results.

Consulting at Rosewood is focused primarily on reproductive health -- everything from annual well person exams to an open-minded approach to parenting skills in the early postpartum period. Extensive intake forms help Rosewood consultants get a clear picture of your reproductive health needs as well as the systems that might get you the most appropriate care. Common concerns might be :

  • Finding a care provider -- Midwife, Naturopath, OBGYN, Pediatrician, TCM Doctor, Family Practitioner, Nutritionist, Therapist, Body Worker, Acupuncturist, Herbalist, Functional Medicine Doctor, etc. -- who practices in line with your attitudes toward health

  • Understanding a diagnosis

  • Accessing methods of diagnosis and treatment within and outside of the Western medical system

  • Fiding avenues of care that fit your budget / level of insurance

  • Creating a one-on-one system of continuous care

  • Accessing non-judgemental and broad spectrum support

  • Help with your feeling a lack of education and resources for a particular need

  • Wanting to change a mode of management / treatment after many years of one approach

Though, with our current climate of care being what it is, likely all people could use a point person helping them navigate these ins and outs, those who might benefit most from this sort of care include :

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  • Young folks transitioning out of primary pediatric care or needing the addition of into gynecological / reproductive well person care

  • Those who don’t have insurance or who have limited insurance who would like to know more about their options for compassionate care for overall health and their reproductive health

  • Those struggling with PCOS, fibroids, thyroid and adrenal concerns, chronic infections, and other areas of reproductive system dis-ease

  • Folks struggling with hormonal imbalances

  • Expecting families seeking evidence-based pregnancy care

  • Anyone wanting more detailed options for birth control

  • Individuals and couples considering fertility options

  • Expectant parents anxious about the early parenting period

Rosewood offers a variety of consultation packages ranging from hourly appointments for anyone interested in perhaps just getting some provider referrals to annual concierge services that include emerging issue phone contact and multiple office visits, as well as standard birth and postpartum doula services. So many options means not having to commit to something if just a booster of help is needed for some, while for others, a lengthier contract ensures a deep trust, open communication, and the enormously beneficial perk of continuity of care. Since you are the primary care provider of YOU, and only YOU are ultimately responsible for your own health, you can approach the consultation services as much or as little as you want and need.

We know from the studies around doula-supported birth care that folks who have guidance along these lines report having a deeper satisfaction with their care and health experiences, regardless of outcomes. It is with that in mind that Rosewood seeks to meet anyone and everyone on a deeper level of support and care as they navigate the attention and care their reproductive systems (and whole body) needs.