Originally Posted by Youngfrankenstein
I agree wholeheartedly! I think the power shift is a very subtle but very real thing. .....
I guess now that you've mentioned power, I believe that is the true beginning of invasive care. When they think they automatically know more than you and choose to proceed with no truly informed consent.
Right? (and your examples weren't OT at all, good illustrations of this point, IMO) The assuming of power occurs from the outset of care, usually; and it sounds like what people are saying it is
*invasion of the body itself, for diagnosis or treatment, without permission and good reason
*invasion of personal space--of the birthing space, walking in and out of the room carelessly
*invasion of 'mental space'--by assuming authority to speak of 'what is going to happen now' or 'what needs to happen now', as if provider owns/controls mom's body/birth process
*invasion of 'parental space'/authority--by assuming authority over babies rather than respecting parental right/responsibility as #1 authorities in their babies' care
Yeah, Storm Bride--sometimes so kindly/gently, that "I'm just going to..."
And I agree--the provider's manner is not what is important, it's their initial assumptions of power over the woman, her body, the birth, their assumption of 'pre-given permission' to do things, that is the worst of it.
Karanyavel--your story illustrates the same point pretty well...and thanks for mentioning baby being taken away because I was forgetting how the baby, once born, and parents' rights too, are involved in all this. But the baby very much DOES figure into all of this--and I can think of so many moms who've told birth stories where the worst part--perhaps the most 'castrating' part (is there a feminine term for that?) for them is how they finally get through all the indignities and rip off of an invasive birth, only to have baby taken immediately into medical authority (routinely, I mean). It's the ultimate power rip-off, in a way, that medical assumption of authority over babies.
GirlProf--yeah, having talked things out and made a plan is a whole nother ball of string! As your story so clearly shows us. I even appreciate your mention of delivering in McRoberts--the fact that the mw suggested it at the time, without prior permission/discussion, but it felt fine to you. You had established trust with her by then, it sounds like. Birth is so intimate...and I can see how, once you feel real trust with your provider (based on consciously-developed communication/agreements together), it could feel normal and welcome to accept such a direction. She didn't have 'specific permission' for that--yet the whole context of your relationship with her set the stage for you to feel ok about it. Sounds like you probably could have questioned it at the time, and received her willingness to explain, if you'd felt the need. But you had established trust, you had already opened yourself to the mw's presence and input--and it more or less flowed as part of the intimate event of your birth in which she was included, was not an invasion of it.
"you're a natural", meaning: "I have to respect you in a way that is not necessary with the epi mamas" Gah!