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Who controls childbirth — expectant moms or doctors? - Page 3

post #41 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post
That's a shame & I'm sorry that has been your experience. & I'm sorry if anyone has that experience. It's a shame. It's wrong.

I think the best case scenario is that we all can tailor our message to the person we're communicating with.
For example, if I meet someone who's already PG or already has kids, I'll be really delicate around the subject of birth if it comes up. Maybe just to say I had a natural birth & it rocked! Since, IMX, there just aren't that many people who say natural birth (or birth overall!) can be positive! The prevailing belief is, "Why go through all that pain if I don't have to?" as well as "Natural birth makes as much sense as natural dentistry!"
So here, standing in front of you, is someone who's not totally insane or hippy & had a natural birth she enjoyed. So ask me Qs if you like.

However, with women who aren't PG or even in the middle of trying, I DO admit that I WILL try to warn them! Again, I think warnings are necessary.

So if I say, essentially,
1. "Get educated or you may be subjected to bad things."
(Yet again, that is not to say that getting educated guarantees you will not have a bad experience.)

Do you think that's the same as saying,

2. "If you have had a bad experience, it is partially your own fault."????

In other words, is it even possible say sentence #1 without also communicating the idea of sentence #2?


Are they the the same message?
I don't think they are the same thing, no. However I do know that when I've been pregnant I've heard sooooo many warnings and gotten sooooo much unsolicited advice that none of it really stands out much.

On the negative side, I do think when women are discussing their own experience, fears and thoughts, and the immediate reaction is the armchair quarterback response, ("If only you/this woman had X...") that is where the shame and blame really begin. It saddens me that a community that purports to be woman-centered and inclusive can actually be quite the reverse with anyone who doesn't toe the line.

On the positive side, I think natural childbirth methods are strong enough to stand on their own without the constant critiques of "all these dumb women" who actually are brave about sharing their realities. In other words, you don't have to deconstruct other people's experience. Sharing your own story (as you did here) is powerful on its own.

The last thing I think came to mind in your post is the question of how to talk to people who have had traumatic birth experiences. I think this is where I have come to believe the NCB has a lot of work to do on the side of evidence and decision-making in labour.

When a woman has had a bad experience - either iatrogenically, like this experience seems to have been, or through a complication or condition - the NCB response rarely seems to be "this is how we, as advocates for natural labour and delivery, would respond to that."

It's mostly either pulling out stats about why that wouldn't/shouldn't/couldn't happen -- to a woman for whom it did -- or something about trust or nature or what-have-you.

But the thing is, even if your c-section wasn't warranted or your complication was a 1:100,000 case, a woman who has had to make (or had imposed) what she at a vulnerable and physically difficult moment perceived to be a life-or-death situation, or experienced a total lack of control, these responses are not necessarily helpful.

I think this article and the response to it illustrates this beautifully. You take a woman who was held down while her membranes were stripped and tell her aromatherapy will work for her? Do you think she's going to end up respecting that? And then she gets criticized for rejecting that? I don't know. It's not a response I'm comfortable with. I wish the NCB would listen to women about why they get turned off - it's important.

I could hear 1000 birth stories about nuchal cords with happy ending but that will never, ever erase the my experience. It's always interesting to me how (in every medical field on all sides) some people get that, and they listen, and they can even still present all the same information, but over time and in a respectful way, but they are rare. Most people are perfectly willing to trample your experience and feelings in order to make their political point.
post #42 of 72
My first birth was very similar to her story. I am crying reading her story and this thread. I know I am going against the grain here but...

She is a victim and is in no way responsible for what happened to her. Just because the information is out there to be had does not make it easy or possible to be educated. Depending on the situation many people are so conditioned to trust doctors that they will either not research or disregard anything different. I considered a birthplan for example but mistakenly thought that I could not change my mind.

Blaming women who are treated so poorly will help no-one. Not all care providers are this bad but the ones who are do these things ON PURPOSE. They will use any tactic they can to get what they want. It is an abuse of trust and power that I cannot put into words. I asked the questions that I knew were important to me and was told the whole time that my wishes would be honored. I never had any reason to doubt that they would not or that there was much more information than I had. I trusted the doctor to point me in the right direction so the books I read were mainstream and only touched the surface of the options out there.

I did skip over NCB info when I rarely came across it because I had been told by family, friends, doctors, and books that anything other than trusting a doctor wholeheartedly is dangerous. Fear-mongering is so rampant around the subject of birth.

My main request was informed consent. I was assured many times that I would be involved. Once I arrived at the hospital all bets were off. Just like in her story my water was broken with not a word to be and against my begging to stop. I was given drugs against my express refusal. I was violated over and over again. There was no way I could have known this may happen and no way I could stop it being drugged and attached to all manner of machines. If I so much as rolled over a nurse was coming in to fix the monitor and yell at me for moving.

They even went as far as to have me sign consent forms after drugging me and having me sign the patient rights(including informed consent-it is supposed to be given upon arrival) at the time of discharge. If I didn't sign, I didn't get discharged and neither did DD.

It is horrifically painful to read/hear that you are responsible for someone treating you so badly. It is possible to be educated and even prevent these things sometimes but the roadblocks to this are many. Sadly, most of the women who have suffered this had to learn the hard way. Sorry if this is rambling and confusing-I am feeling quite hurt right now.
post #43 of 72
I was so shocked to read the article. I had a hard time with the way it was written, I kinda like things to be spoon fed to me and this was somewhat all over the place, but it reminds me of a therapy piece. I couldn't believe her birth experience, sitting back here, I thought to myself "I would have kicked that doctor in the head!" easy for me to say. Definitely not something I would have done first labour, maybe number three, I'm pretty testy.

I think it's a good piece of education, for the NCB. I live in Ontario. Midwives are primary care providers. If you are low risk, you can get through pregnancy and birth without seeing an OB. It's covered, we don't pay for it, directly anyhow, and to me there is tonnes of information available.

That said, I am a social worker, or was til these kids started calling me mom. I'm supposed to know where and how to access women related information. Many, many, many people I come across do not know how to access these services for a myriad of valid reasons. Many of them have no idea of what a doula is. Many think that they have to pay for midwives, or they see them with their doctors, or they're no where near as qualified. Is it their responsibility to do some research? Sure, I guess. But I think it's also very important for us to do outreach in a safe and accessible manner. If that means that we have to tone down our staunchest beliefs in order not to seem too polarized or judgemental, then yes, if you want informed births for every women, so be it.

I could always say "Well, these abused women, they should KNOW that there are shelters and laws and hotlines, you can't walk into a doctor's office/community centre/etc without seeing some information on that!" but their failure to access that information, is also a failure on my part. I can't go in and say "You need to leave your husband NOW! He's a butt, he's a criminal, he's never going to change and if you end up dead, it's your own fault." I'm going to scare the hell out of a woman and sound like a first year student. I can arm her with the facts, let her know how to protect herself, let her know that legally CPS might become involved, let her know that it has to be HER choice and my job was to just give her this side of the equation. Yeah, I'd like her to leave as of yesterday, but I cannot project that and be a respectful feminist counsellor. It's not easy to do and takes a lot of practice and a huge amount of dedication to believing that a woman's body is her choice.

Some folks believe because there are children involved in the case of birth, that her choices are open for discussion, but I that case, I think those folks should be ready for all their decisions as a mother to be open to criticism too, no matter how stressed, scared, tired, imperfect, in pain or upset they might have been at the time.

I have to admit that I do feel a bit of pressure from my care providers to be as au naturel as possible with this birth. I can say I trust my body all I want, but I know I nearly lost my first, I didn't much care for the pain the second time and really the only reason why I want to do this naturally is because I want to land on my feet, which is harder IME with a lot of the interventions. I'm on my third pregnancy now, so I just don't give a fig what anyone thinks to be honest, but a first time mom, I can see that pressure (even if not directly projected) from any care provider being a huge weight. I think a lot of the NCB folks feel like they are fighting uphill against all the mainstream data, and it's true, but that also makes a lot of people sound dogmatic about it, and IME the message kinda gets lost on the majority of folks if you're too extreme.

Anyhow, I'm risking writing this post in the style I just criticized with the article, so I'll stop while I'm ahead.
post #44 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyster View Post
I think a lot of the NCB folks feel like they are fighting uphill against all the mainstream data, and it's true, but that also makes a lot of people sound dogmatic about it, and IME the message kinda gets lost on the majority of folks if you're too extreme.
ITA
I think this is an astute observation & a big part of the problem.

I also feel like I want to "shout louder," so to speak, about NCB because there are so few people spreading the message. Americans are bombarded with 'mainstream' messages (birth is painful, awful, dangerous, belongs in the hospital, OB is your best HCP & anything less is inferior & risky, docs are gods etc.)

I hope that in my passion, I don't sound dogmatic, although I know I can be extreme. I'm an intense person. But it's tough. Because I do feel I have to "fight" for the message. "Fight" to get the truth out. "Fight" uphill.
post #45 of 72
(snuggling a sleeping 13 month old-sorry for any spelling/typos)

I love what a PP described hearing at a party, and how that teeny tiny tidbit was something that got her thinking enough to prevent her from taking another birth path.

I have found that people start out from different perspectives and backgrounds, and most of them seem to be mainstream. They either continue in those paths, or they come across information (from doing research or from meeting someone who cares enough to go out on a limb and talk to them) to change their views.

Unfortunately, for people like me, it's only in small increments that the changes come! Maybe this is how the author of the article will be..always hope.

I suffered permanent injury and misdiagnosis in a military pregnancy/birth for my first. As a result, I learned some things, sought out a naturopath, but yet STILL went back to an OB for my next pregnancy. Why? I never knew that a MW could care for me since I WAS healthy...No one ever told me. I never took responsibility and found out on my own. Therefore, I had a medically managed vaginal birth for my second, a c-section for my third..and I NEVER even asked for a version..cause..."Dr knows best!" EVEN after in my heart I knew the OB in my first pregnancy nearly killed me because of his own God complex..I still went with it!

I had a VBAC banned forced repeat section for #4. It wasn't until my OTHER life choices led me down a more natural path-CD, BF'ing, no-vax'ing, natural medicine for our family, NFP, healthier eating, that I found MDC and ICAN. It was BECAUSE of other women who shared their experiences and knowledge, that I found the strength to have a VBA2C..and then a year later, the strength to stand up to the OB who warned me I was jeopardizing my unborn child's health when I informed him I was choosing a HB with a MW.

If women hadn't shared their HONEST information (and I've read the good AND the bad-the losses, the bad MW stories, the honest tragedies that CAN and DO happen in birth-so it ain't naiveity) I would likely be ending my family growth at risk of "too many sections". That choice is something I couldn't bear once again-already had a TL at my 2nd section when I believed all my births had to be medical. I had it reversed when I found strength to go against the mainstream-due to the experiences and knowledge and support of other women here and ICAN.

Thank you for sharing the good, the bad and the choices. What I am thankful for, and what I desire, is the information honestly presented for ME to make a choice...what I can't stand is the idea that most women I have met have never been exposed to the choices available, and therefore MAY very well suffer damaging births as a result of their lack of knowledge-just like I did.

Blessings and thank you!
post #46 of 72
I liked this essay. I will believe it was probably very therapeutic for the author to bravely bring forward her experience. Sadly it has been criticized. What I choose to take away from this essay is a reminder of how to work with clients and the fact it is their birth, their body and their choices. I liked the response of the last doula. So that is what I will take away from this essay and I will stay away from the rest of the hoo-ha and the usual blame game we see when people choose to share traumatic birth stories.
post #47 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post
ITA
I think this is an astute observation & a big part of the problem.

I also feel like I want to "shout louder," so to speak, about NCB because there are so few people spreading the message. Americans are bombarded with 'mainstream' messages (birth is painful, awful, dangerous, belongs in the hospital, OB is your best HCP & anything less is inferior & risky, docs are gods etc.)

I hope that in my passion, I don't sound dogmatic, although I know I can be extreme. I'm an intense person. But it's tough. Because I do feel I have to "fight" for the message. "Fight" to get the truth out. "Fight" uphill.

Birth is painful. At least it was for me. But it's an interesting thing to chat about for a second. Sometimes I've read a post (not using you or yours as an example just so I'm clear) or article saying that birth isn't painful, or the pain is easily managed. Now to someone like me, who is doing a natural birth and has been through one, I'm like "yeah right!" To someone else who is totally mainstream, they're going to think "Are you nuts!?" and boom, they shut down because they think you're crazy. Some of this is because they have been told and shown that birth is the most godawful thing in the world, but for many folks, birth simply hurts like the dickens no matter how many natural interventions you have and that's cool too, but according to some folks, even if you feel too much pain, you must be doing it wrong. Which again, turns people away.

So where's the balance? Acknowledging that yes, for many birth is painful, but that pain can be managed to a degree, which in the end may likely see you up and about much more quickly and lessens the risk of the snowball effect. HOWEVER, we are not all built the same way, we do not have the same life experiences, the pain tolerances, or have the same births so if you need an epidural Mama, I'm not going to judge, because I can't make that call for you. I just wanted you to know both sides so you can make the best decision for yourself. I'm planning on doing this labour naturally, but I'm honest with myself, if I'm in back labour for hours on end, my resolve may not be the same.


I think the fact that you are thinking about how you approach spreading your POV to others is good! I often think of people I admire who have made great changes in the world. They had every reason to be dogmatic, they even had every reason to be angry, vengeful, downright nasty, but chose a more peaceful, however amazingly determined way to get their results, and that inspires me greatly. I think most of all, what strikes me about them is the dignity in which they have carried out their goals, it's something unreal.
post #48 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post
I also feel like I want to "shout louder," so to speak, about NCB because there are so few people spreading the message. Americans are bombarded with 'mainstream' messages (birth is painful, awful, dangerous, belongs in the hospital, OB is your best HCP & anything less is inferior & risky, docs are gods etc.)

I hope that in my passion, I don't sound dogmatic, although I know I can be extreme. I'm an intense person. But it's tough. Because I do feel I have to "fight" for the message. "Fight" to get the truth out. "Fight" uphill.
I really appreciate the passion and conviction with which some who advocate for NCB fight for what they believe is right. And I totally get that the motivation is to help other women have better experiences and avoid suffering. There are certainly times and places where a battle axe is the right tool.

As advocates, we need to be more mindful of when we wield that tool and who we aim it at. I've been processing a complex, difficult birth experience that has many traumatic aspects. If the first time I say "I had a c-section" someone comes charging at me with a battle axe, whoa, that is really off-putting. If I weren't already an NCB advocate, it would probably completely turn me off to the whole concept of "natural."

I guess I would say to all impassioned advocates:
Before you pull out the battle axe, have you taken time to listen to my story? Are you making assumptions about what I know and don't know? Have you considered that you might not have the full story, that the full story might be really complex and difficult for me to understand, let alone trying to tell it to someone else and have it make sense?

If you listen to me and you share your story in a way that is conversational, with give and take, with time to process what's being said and to respond from the heart, not just from the head, that's the kind of the support that I want and need. You can't change my bad experience or give me a new good one. You can ease my suffering in a different way by listening and caring about what I say. You show that you're listening and caring by responding from your heart, rather than pulling out your canned "trust your body, not doctors" speech. Who knows, you might even learn something yourself. If I want information, I'll ask for information, and I'll appreciate anything you can direct me to. But if I'm not asking for information, that's not what I want.

And please, please, please share your story. Tell me what it was like for you. Tell me what you thought and felt along the way, and what you've learned by doing things that way. Just stop there. Don't moralize; don't warn; I don't need that. I agree with PP: our stories can speak for themselves.
post #49 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyster View Post
Birth is painful. At least it was for me.
Oh, it was for me to! What I should have said is, "Mainstream always teaches that birth is unbearably, miserably painful. To the point where it's torture to endure without pharmacological relief."
That is what I meant.

When the issue of pain & NCB comes up, I'm usually quick to clarify on it for me - to acknowledge that it was indeed painful, but it was only really painful at the end (transition) was manageable, like cramps, otherwise. & even during transition I still had a break in between ctrx & even within the 1 min long ctrx, they ramped up & down so were only bad about 30 sec or so.

Yeah, I agree, if you come at a mainstream person with a message of, "Oh birth doesn't have to be painful!" they will shut down. That's not something I personally have ever said.

As a matter of fact, when I've recommended the movie "Orgasmic Birth" I always immediately say, "But it's really a bad title for the movie! It should have been called 'Joyful Birth.' Really only one chick in the movie had an orgasmic birth! The others were like me - painful, but manageable & overall very joyful & empowering."

Also, when it comes to NCB advocacy, I'm also quick to say, "Even if you want the epidural, get educated! Keep your mind open (maybe you won't need it-- at least wait & see.) Learn about other interventions." Ya know? Avoid AROM, don't be induced without good cause, don't push in lithotomy, don't hold your breath longer than comfortable, see if you can avoid pit without real need, (or turn it down once ctrx are going, or not continue to turn it up & up & up) etc.

IOW, the need to get educated in order to ensure evidence-based care is still a real need even for women who want an epidural.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post
There are certainly times and places where a battle axe is the right tool.

As advocates, we need to be more mindful of when we wield that tool and who we aim it at.
ITA

Just wanted to also add here on this thread that the way I write on MDC definitely differs from what I'd say IRL. Especially since I have to spend so much time delicately choosing my words in my professional career. it gets so tiresome, honestly, to have to show so much restraint & not reveal exasperation!

So since I expect to be 'preaching to the choir' here on MDC, I probably let my intensity & passion shine through full force most of the time. But, again, my posting here is not indicative of how I might speak IRL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post
And please, please, please share your story. Tell me what it was like for you. Tell me what you thought and felt along the way, and what you've learned by doing things that way. Just stop there. Don't moralize; don't warn; I don't need that. I agree with PP: our stories can speak for themselves.
Hm, Ok, but do you think it's appropriate to "warn" women who are not even PG (but may have a baby in the future)?
post #50 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post
So since I expect to be 'preaching to the choir' here on MDC, I probably let my intensity & passion shine through full force most of the time. But, again, my posting here is not indicative of how I might speak IRL.

Hm, Ok, but do you think it's appropriate to "warn" women who are not even PG (but may have a baby in the future)?
I express myself on MDC differently than I do IRL too! I think I'm much more articulate in writing. When I talk, I tend to blather.

As for the "warning" for women who might have a baby in the future...

I'm trying to remember what was powerful for me, because I learned about NCB long, long before I became pregnant. I read about it in Our Bodies, Ourselves, and I had a college friend who wanted to become an OB because she wanted to be a natural birth friendly OB. I'm also a fan of Toni's birth story in Dykes to Watch Out For. Plenty of hours spent browsing the shelves of a variety of feminist bookstores was also influential. And my step sister trained to be a midwife and had 2 HB-turned-c-section experiences, so that was another perspective. There are lots of others too. I had a friend who used a doula for her birth and turned me on to that idea. I had another friend who had an amazing HB water birth that she shared with me. I had a number of friends who did hospital births with varying degrees of intervention. I feel fortunate that I had exposure to a fairly rich array of stories, perspectives & information about birth in general and natural child birth in particular long before I became pregnant.

I wouldn't say that I perceived any of that information or stories as a "warning." It definitely opened my mind to the idea that there isn't just one way of viewing birth (the mainstream medical way) and it helped me know that I could look for other resources that would be more natural. It helped me think about my labor/birth wishes and expectations in a nuanced way when I finally was ready to embark on that journey myself. It didn't make it possible for me to choose everything I wanted for an ideal birth, and it didn't prevent my c-section.

Do I remember any stats that someone told me in the 1990s, eons before I was even ready to consider the possibility of getting pregnant? No. Do I remember each and every birth story that any woman has ever told me and feel honored that she shared it? Yes, absolutely.

I guess I would stand by my original statement: stories are powerful and they need to be told clearly, honestly, from our hearts, and that's enough.
post #51 of 72
I haven't read the thread or the article yet, but I want to answer the title.

Nobody controls childbirth - not the mom, not the careprovider (doctor or midwife), not the baby...nobody.

In my opinion, the belief that someone - anyone - can control a birth is the single biggest negative in women's birth experiences. There are too many attempts to control it, which creates negatives, and the aftermath when things don't go well swirls into a mess of "whose fault was it?", which is also negative.
post #52 of 72
I haven't read all of the posts but I do have something to say. I don't think her trauma was from not getting what she wanted or the interventions necessary to have her baby, I think its from the way it was done! No matter what you want (natural/epidural/csection) if you can't be respected and treated like a human being its going to suck and you're going to hate it. The horrible thing is that you can't control what other people say or do and how they say/do it. You can't make anyone respect you as a person.
post #53 of 72
This part of the article made me sad:

Quote:
They are rarely made up of crazy requests, but in my opinion, the very act of creating such a contract was to ignore what labor is: something unpredictable that you are in no way qualified to dictate.
She's referring to a birth plan here.
post #54 of 72
Quote:
It bugs me when pieces like this are referred to as "articles." An article is fact-based. This is a personal essay.
Dh and I were just talking about how Time magazine has done this a couple times lately, presenting an opinion piece as an article.
post #55 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I don't personally believe women should have to research everything about birth to get good care in a hospital. It may currently be the reality. But it's a systemic, patriarchical issues. Blaming the woman at the bottom of the totem pole is just wrong, in my opinion.
I agree. This woman was mistreated, disrespected, and assaulted by someone abusing his position. It is possible things would have gone better if she had been very well informed and extremely wary - to the extent of being alert to the possibility her OB was deliberately lying to her, and maybe carrying pepper spray into the labour room - but why should she have to take on all the responsibility for not being molested and given inappropriate medical care? Why are most of us, even the author herself, second-guessing her decisions instead of focusing on the jerk who casually screwed up her birth and brought on her PTSD?
Women can benefit from being informed about the risks of date rape: when it could happen, how to avoid it, etc. We might say it is a sensible precaution to take. We would never suggest that, if a woman is not well informed, she shares in the responsibility for her assault. The blame, 100% of it, lies with her attacker. The same applies in this case.
Yes, childbirth is unpredictable, but unwarranted medical procedures without patient consent does not qualify as one of those quirks of fate you need to allow for.
As a CBE, I would be the last person to dismiss the importance of prenatal education; but information alone cannot protect women from the worst aspects of hospital obstetrics. The smartest and best informed woman can end up being railroaded by a system of obstetrics which does not have her best interests at heart. The worst prepared pregnant woman in the world should not have to face treatment like this. Maybe she needed to read some books and take some classes, but mostly she needed not to be abused by some in a white coat.
post #56 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post
I agree. This woman was mistreated, disrespected, and assaulted by someone abusing his position. It is possible things would have gone better if she had been very well informed and extremely wary - to the extent of being alert to the possibility her OB was deliberately lying to her, and maybe carrying pepper spray into the labour room - but why should she have to take on all the responsibility for not being molested and given inappropriate medical care? Why are most of us, even the author herself, second-guessing her decisions instead of focusing on the jerk who casually screwed up her birth and brought on her PTSD?
Women can benefit from being informed about the risks of date rape: when it could happen, how to avoid it, etc. We might say it is a sensible precaution to take. We would never suggest that, if a woman is not well informed, she shares in the responsibility for her assault. The blame, 100% of it, lies with her attacker. The same applies in this case.
Yes, childbirth is unpredictable, but unwarranted medical procedures without patient consent does not qualify as one of those quirks of fate you need to allow for.
As a CBE, I would be the last person to dismiss the importance of prenatal education; but information alone cannot protect women from the worst aspects of hospital obstetrics. The smartest and best informed woman can end up being railroaded by a system of obstetrics which does not have her best interests at heart. The worst prepared pregnant woman in the world should not have to face treatment like this. Maybe she needed to read some books and take some classes, but mostly she needed not to be abused by some in a white coat.
Thank you for saying this!!! YES!!!

And I have a few more thoughts to share, since apparently I'm not going to be able to sleep until I get this out.

"I know what's right for me, therefore I know what's right for you."
I think this is the underlying tone of a lot of NCB advocacy, and I'm uncomfortable with it. I feel like the mainstream medical model has the whole "I know what's right for you" approach well in hand, and I want & expect NCB to be different. I believe that telling our own truths and listening are both radical acts.

If our message is "Listen up, women: you can drive your own decisions in labor and delivery and you should be the ultimate authority in your own care" I think there's a disconnect if we deliver that message by saying essentially "I'm going to pick apart your experience, point out all the mistakes that you made, tell you to educate yourself, and then shove a bunch of information your way that I expect you to accept unquestioningly as your new truth."

I just believe very, very strongly that the way that we advocate is just as important as the information that we share. We have to walk the talk.

I keep wondering if the woman who wrote that article will ever find her way to MDC and discover this thread. If she does, will she feel like the NCB world is a welcoming place for her?

OK, I've gotten way too obsessed with this thread, a sign that I need to "unplug" from MDC for a spell. Good night!
post #57 of 72
i think that we are talking about so many layers to this issue.

I agree with GuildJenn that a woman shouldn't have to educate herself to get good care in the hospital. There is an inherent problem in the system that needs to be challenged and overturned.

I also agree with the essayist that her experience really sucked. And, i think it was double for her because not only was she abused, but her trust was broken. I mean, she (and Jenn) are right--one "should" be able to trust people.

But the reality is, we *do* have a responsibility. the real question is, what is that responsibility?

Again, i agree with Jenn. you really "shouldn't have to" research everything about birth.

But it is a good idea to know about the medical situation surrounding birth--to not go in with blind faith--so that you can protect yourself from abuses and also so that you can be a part of the process and know what to expect with certain processes. Women who do educate themselves about the situation of birth, etc, tend to be happier with their outcomes--whether those are NCBs or not.

to an extent, this is not about NCB advocates at all. NCB advocates are involved in this process--we are involved in the process of striving to make maternity care client focused and evidence based to be safe for women and children. We are trying to make NCB available to women in hospital settings, when "the system" is really working to not allow that.

and out of this comes some faulty language like "well, if you didn't want to be abused, don't go to a hospital. homebirth prevents that." which of course, isn't really *solving* the problem that hospitals and doctors can be corrupt.

and that also is where that blame game comes in--the idea that since you chose a hospital, you chose to put yourself at risk. but to me, that's like saying 'you wore a short skirt, you deserved to get raped." absolutely silly. choosing a hospital can be absolutely the right thing (and it's certainly more considered than skirt lengths in most cases), and that hospital *should be* safe.

but, it can only be safe if 1. women know that it is unsafe and demand for it to become safe; and 2. women understand who their partners in birth are (their doctors), what they believe and practice, and whether that meshes with what those women want.

this does require education, taking responsibility, and choosing carefully.

and then this takes us to that next element, which is to say that even when women are fully informed, taking responsibility and so on, *abuse still happens*. A PP wrote how their doctor stripped membranes, broke the amniotic sack, and put in an IFM all without permission and under the guise of doing a VE. those parents were informed, were active, and were still violated.

so, yes, a whole culture change needs to happen.
post #58 of 72
yes, that is it.

as mamabadger said, and i was trying to say, there is no blame on the woman who is violated. educated or uneducated, the violation is not her fault!

true, education can prevent things, but things even happen to educated people.
post #59 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunamegn View Post
This part of the article made me sad:

They are rarely made up of crazy requests, but in my opinion, the very act of creating such a contract was to ignore what labor is: something unpredictable that you are in no way qualified to dictate.

She's referring to a birth plan here.
I'm a big believer in bodily integrity and the right to make one's own decisions. Therefore, I support a woman's right to do whatever she wants regarding childbirth.

However, I see what the author meant by that quote. I'm not a doctor. I didn't go to medical school. So, no, I didn't feel qualified at my own birth to present a "plan," because how much did I really know about the various risks? And I gotta say, for me, reading Ina May's book didn't really give me everything I needed. That's just me though, and I completely support those who feel that they can learn everything they need to know from NCB literature. But for me it didn't make me feel like I could tell my doctor what should happen. So I basically did what she said. And it turned out really well for me, which creates a bias in my mind, based on my own experience.

The key here is that I did have a good doctor. The doctor described in the article was terrible! Just an awful way to treat someone.....
post #60 of 72
Hmm. When I was first married, I was adamantly opposed to HB for myself. I had a friend who HB'd and it was just a turn off to me.
My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage--and while I was still researching which dr. to go through. The treatment I got was impersonal and inconsiderate. It was a very traumatic time for me.
This led me to look for FSBC's in my state. There were two, both 2-3 hrs from me. I chose one based on my knowledge at the time. IMO, my then CNM was very interventionist minded. Internal exams at each appt, offering to strip my membranes, ect. And the labor! Being checked every hour during contrax, pushing on my back, ect. I thought because I had chosen a FSBC and CNM that I was getting a "natural birth".
I was dissatisfied with that birth, but felt that it was either that, the local hospital, or a lay MW that I was not comfortable with. So I went back for my second child to the FSBC that was 3 hrs away. It was inconvenient and not exactly what I wanted, but I thought it was my best option.
In labor, I called my MW (I was staying in that area with family) saying I felt like I needed to come in and she stalled. And stalled. And stalled. (She had just finished a birth and I think wanted some down time in between.) I finally got her to consent to meet me after she showered in an hour or so. 15 minutes later I told DH to call her and tell her we were coming NOW. We were 20 minutes from the FSBC.
I delivered en route on a noisy off ramp of the I-10. (Five minutes away) Was taken to a hospital where they refused to let my dd leave. They said if I left with her they would report me to CPS. We stayed under duress. The nurses were very condescending because I had opted out of certain testing during pregnancy, vax's for baby, and we delivered in an "unsterile" environment. They then proceeded to charge us for a full labor and delivery + 48 hr stay!
For the next two years I worried about what to do once I was pregnant with our third...where would I go? Is homebirth something I want to consider? Could I find a MW who would travel? (As at this point there were no MWs in our area at all.)
Once we decided to have our third, things just fell into place. 3 separate people rec'd a MW out of a city 2 hrs away. I called her, we talked, we scheduled a meet up and it all clicked.
My sister who used the same FSBC disliked her experience there and went the local hospital route, but choosing to show up just in time to push.
Childbirth is a journey. I would never have HB'd had I not had that first miscarriage and then later delivered in my truck. I thought a FSBC would be the best of both worlds. Obviously, for me, it wasn't. It took much reading, praying, discussing, ect to get to that point for me and I came from a very natural minded family! My parents had wanted HB but it had never worked out due to premature babies and placenta previa.
I am now planning my second HB for sometime in August and don't want to ever do it any other way. My sister is adamantly opposed to HB for herself. Similar life experiences, different choices; both informed. I have times when I cannot understand her opposition, when even her husband would be for it. I am sure she is the same with my choices.
I agree that what happened to the woman in the article is horrendous! I was so angry for her! I was also angry at the OB who said that a birth plan raises the likelihood for a c section. I think my main complaint with the article was not her opinion, but that others might take the fact that it was printed in the media to mean that her opinion was fact.
Who knows? A few years or babies down the road she may find herself open to HB. Like I said, childbirth is a journey...
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