Doctors and Hospital Midwives Need to Stop Bullying Pregnant Women

Thank you to Jennifer Margulis for sharing this excerpt from her most recent blog post with us. You can read the full article on her blog.


Doctors and other care providers want you to do things their way. But often their way is based on habit, fear of liability, or expediency. Unlike homebirth midwives, obstetricians almost never request their patients keep a food and exercise log. They almost never take 45-minutes to review the foods you’ve eaten in the past week, counsel you on good nutrition, and strategize on how best to exercise during your pregnancy. And also unlike homebirth midwives, obstetricians usually don’t know any more about nutrition than you do.


Most doctors practice what one obstetrician I interviewed recently called “reactive instead of proactive medicine.” (Unlike his colleagues, this doctor uses a homebirth midwifery model to interact with his clients.) There is a profound lack of logic in reacting to problems after they arise instead of preventing them in the first place. Yet if the patient rejects a routine test or suggests an alternative strategy, no matter how logical the objection is for this particular case, many pregnancy health care providers will use scare tactics and bullying to try to force the patient to change her mind. They’ll accuse you of being irresponsible, become angry at what they perceive to be your lack of intelligence, label you a problem patient, and tell you, “Don’t do it my way and your baby will die.”




Read the post on Jennifer’s blog.

Melanie Mayo-Laakso

About Melanie Mayo-Laakso

Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering is the birthplace of natural family living and attachment parenting. We celebrate the experience of parenthood as worthy of one’s best efforts and are at once fierce advocates for children and gentle supporters of parents.


3 thoughts on “Doctors and Hospital Midwives Need to Stop Bullying Pregnant Women”

  1. I agree with what she’s saying, but I do not think it’s fair to categorically say all obstetrician are bulling pregnant women. I actually had a very bad experience with midwives with my first child (52 hours of natural labor!!!) and was in a lot of danger until the doctor on-call stepped in. So, for my second child I went with an OB who was absolutely wonderful – not pushy at all. She let me labor exactly how I wanted and didn’t push anything on me. She let me be the boss. So there are some out there who are good. I think the key is to get doctors and midwives to really work together, because we need both.

  2. Sara- I completely agree with what you’re saying. I just had my first baby, 57 hours of natural labor at home with my midwife. Fully dilated then recessed to a 5/6 cm once I got into the birthing pool. I had to transfer to the hospital to get pitocin and I’m grateful they were there to help baby and me. Next time I get pregnant- I’m not sure what I’ll do. The billing process IS STILL a nightmare with insurance because we had both a home birth but a hospital delivery. confusing. The OBGYN was great- still treated me like a number, rushed– but at least she wasn’t horrible. My midwife wasn’t pushy either. She was all about educating me and encouraging my husband and I to make decisions for ourselves. She is very proactive about doctors and midwives working together not against each other. I loveee the care we got through her- but at the same time, the assistance the OBGYN gave us in our time of need was awesome. We’ll probably end up doing a hospital birth with her as our assisting midwife next time around. 🙂 Oh! And her name is Renee Hanevold, with Midwife Prose out of Placer County and surrounding areas. love her!

  3. My general practitioner isn’t even an MD, she’s a nurse practitioner, and she knows a whole heck of a lot more about nutrition than ANY doctor I’ve ever met. She was the one who first wrote about the differences between the forms of vitamin D. She’s an absolutely brilliant woman whom I’d trust with my baby’s life.

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