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Violence of medicalized birth (rant/vent)

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
WOW. I was foolishly watching a Discovery Health Channel show called "Conception to Birth", I believe. I was thinking that it would be like that old Nova show that had all live action pictures of babies developing in utero, but this was mostly computerized animation. Now, THAT part was still pretty cool, but I just forgot, completely, how different birth is for the mainstream. God bless them, I used to watch those shows *all the time* and I've only ever had the two hospital births myself, but I was amazed at how different my perceptions are, just from educating myself and reading all the wonderful birth stories here...

It was awful! On sOB told a mama that she had "15 minutes" to push the baby out or she'd have to section her. Another OB was referred to as someone who was "bringing children into the world." It was all so managed, she had an epidural, she wasn't having strong feelings to push, of course she was flat on her back. : She *did* get the baby out (go girl!) but people were yanking on the baby, grabbing his head and pulling and twisting... wonder why so many babies seem to have no suck or root reflex? Any chance of a spinal subluxation? (sp?) They yelled at other mothers, shouting the "count" at them while pushing, it was SO condescending to the women, they were talked to and pushed on and poked at, hands in places that hands were *never meant to be*. Another mom was flat on her back and her hips were quite obviously HIGHER than her tummy!! WTH?? Babies were summarily "shown" to their own mothers, then taken across the room, away from them. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAArgh!!

My hospital births made those on the show look like a homebirth, by comparison. Nothing saddens me like seeing women without the awesome understanding of all they are capable of!

Just venting. I wasn't expecting the show to go into all that, for some reason, and it was just amazing to me, both that my views on birth have changed so much, and that the medical approach was *EVER* okay in my mind. :


lizzie
post #2 of 42
Ironically as I am reading your rant I'm listening to Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters"....the lyrics perfectly lend to the mis-spent trust that these women place in the medical establishment and how we live an alternative way.

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us, something new
Open mind for a different view
and nothing else matters

never cared for what they say
never cared for games they play
never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know
and I know

So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
No, nothing else matters
post #3 of 42
my 3 hospital births were nothing at like you just described.
nothing.at all.

3 vaginal, pain med free births.
nothing like you are describing.

people shouldn't be afriad of hospitals.
i think homebirth is wonderful.
but hospital births do not equate poor outcomes automatically.

i will agree though, its very sad to see birth depicted in such a way on a national television program.
very sad.
post #4 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rileysmommy View Post
my 3 hospital births were nothing at like you just described.
nothing.at all.

3 vaginal, pain med free births.
nothing like you are describing.

people shouldn't be afriad of hospitals.
i think homebirth is wonderful.
but hospital births do not equate poor outcomes automatically.

i will agree though, its very sad to see birth depicted in such a way on a national television program.
very sad.


Well that's great for you, I'm glad your births were nothing like that. No woman should have to go through what I watched. It should be noted that the women that these births were being perpetrated upon were, for all appearances, happy as clams with their births. And if you read the post thoroughly, you will note that I personally had two "wonderful" hospital births myself.

HOWEVER- this is the *Unassisted Childbirth* forum, and I'm talking to the like-minded sisters here. I make no apology for feeling that hospital births are by and large a violation of women's bodies, not a glorification. Furthermore, I would indeed be *afraid* for myself and my child if I found myself in a situation in which I had to give birth in a hospital, whatever the extraordinary circumstances would have to be for that to ever happen again.

Hospital births may not equate to "poor outcomes automatically", but they DO absolutely equate to a poorER outcome, for the woman and child, (and the rest of the family) who, whether they know it or not, are robbed of an amazing, empowering, emotional experience in which they direct their births, they choose what will and will not happen, and fully experience and understand just how amazing they are, in and of themselves, with no interference whatsoever from medical personnel who are forced to be more concerned for their own well-being (legally) than they are able to be for the well-being of their entire patient.


lizzie
post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdnmom View Post
Ironically as I am reading your rant I'm listening to Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters"....the lyrics perfectly lend to the mis-spent trust that these women place in the medical establishment and how we live an alternative way.

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us, something new
Open mind for a different view
and nothing else matters

never cared for what they say
never cared for games they play
never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know
and I know

So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
No, nothing else matters
Wow. I love that song... performed it in sign language once upon a time. That's a completely different and yet totally appropriate interpretation from what I used to think. Very perceptive! I'll never think of it the same way again.


lizzie
post #6 of 42
It amazes me how a lot of women in our society just want to get birth "over with". They don't care about the experience as long as it's not too painful and their baby is okay in the end. Wow, it's just so...disconnected.
post #7 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuantumMama View Post
It amazes me how a lot of women in our society just want to get birth "over with". They don't care about the experience as long as it's not too painful and their baby is okay in the end. Wow, it's just so...disconnected.
It really is. It seems like a lot of mainstream mamas are just trained to disconnect every chance they get from their kids, (missing the sensations of birth, the "live-in bucket" car seat, bottles and formula, trusting docs opinions before your own or your childrens',disposable everything, preschool by 2-3 years...etc) and it's sad for all involved.


lizzie
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rileysmommy View Post
my 3 hospital births were nothing at like you just described.
nothing.at all.

3 vaginal, pain med free births.
nothing like you are describing.

people shouldn't be afriad of hospitals.
i think homebirth is wonderful.
but hospital births do not equate poor outcomes automatically.

i will agree though, its very sad to see birth depicted in such a way on a national television program.
very sad.

You were VERY LUCKY. VERY LUCKY. But I wonder - were all your wishes respected and honored? Were YOU respected? I ask b/c you just said you had vag, pain-med-free births. You didn't really mention anything else - and there is a lot of room for disrespect outside those two items.

My DS' birth WAS exactly like what was described - except I WASN'T able to push him out (uphill, w/the epidural still going - WTF?) before the arbritrary time limit was up. Completely unnecessary c/s. However, I was NOT happy with it. In fact, I had to get counseling for PTSD. It was a birth rape.


DD's birth was a UBAC. Never will I birth in a hospital again, barring some freak circumstance. (cause there's always the exception, right?)


I think people should be VERY AFRAID of hospitals for normal, empowering birth. That's just not what a hospital is there for - they're there to find and treat problems (sometimes whether the problems actually exist or not!). The expectation is that there will be problems, that mom will "need" help.


Even the most caring nurse or doctor, with the most pure intentions, will still need to cover their own butt WRT policies, monitoring, etc. Bottom line is they're looking out for number one (which, aren't we all?). But their number one can hurt YOUR number one. When you're hassled about EFM, or "have" to have an IV, or blahblahblah.





*sigh*

K
post #9 of 42
Have you ever seen the birth on that old NOVA program? You can download it and watch it for free on their website. When I got prego again I decided I wanted to watch it. It was really cool until she was giving birth. Then I had to fast forward it because I kept yelling at the screen. I think to anyone that is a homebirther/UCer it's hard to watch a hospital birth because so many of the hospital's principles are why we're not going to the hospital.
post #10 of 42
i will agree with you.. UC tranports do often end in violation to both the mother and the child.

which is why i'd never do a UC.. i'd do a homebirth.. even if it meant having a MW in another room..without helping me.
maybe that sounds corny, but with my understanding of the medical community as it is. yes you are indeed correct, and UC transport often ends sadly.


my births..
were my wishes respected? yes they were.
my only upset was with my first delivery of a 10 pound boy, with a midwife,30 hour labor,water labor( was going to be birth, until for whatever reason i insisted on getting out of the water to push: ) was that she had me push on her command for over 5 hours.

i wouldn't call that birth bad or sad or violating. i woudl just chalk it up to.. the fact that i didn't realize i didn't have to push if i didn't want to.
my second delivery, a 9 pound boy.
went off without a hitch. by my mw and clashed at the end of my pregnancy. however delivery room was, well, like sitting around my living room justa waiting for a baby to emerge on his own. and he did.
on his own.
i started to push, then it was like "no, nevermind.. you don't need to.. here he is"
i had the same nurse continiously, she was of great entertainment to my 7 year old.. they drew picutres of placentas and vaginas. she showed him my placenta in great detail after it was born.
really, it was like that.
my third delivery was with an OB. and honestly she was extraordinary. i think her breed are dying, i am just so glad she has residents in her hands, so they can learn from her, and learn how little you need to have babies.
this was the most hands off delivery so far.
i did as i pleased. ate like a champ.
had my baby with great ease.
my nurse hugged me and thanked me afterwards, saying she was so pleased to be a part of my birth, that they don't get to see a birth go so gently that often.
i didn't have to ever have exams i didn't want. i was never put in a bad position, or made to feel guilty about my choices.
i guess thats why i am always so aghast at what people say about hospitals.
... i know there are BAD practioners out there.
and i also know that staff goes into a crisis mode when they have a UC transport. becasue it no longer is about a peaceful birth, but now about "fixing a problem" and i will make an assumption( pardon the assumption if i am incorrect) that you are in transport because there is a problem.
however i am smart enough to know that whatever is going wrong IS NOT THE EFFECT of a home birth. and THAT is what is the @#$& problem with the hospitals.( if ya ask me) what is going wrong, would have gone wrong, or even WRONGER( nice english eh?) in a medical setting.
so yep yep, like you say it is a very violating outcome.
(usually)

i would not ask anyone to apologize for they way they feel. i realize what board i am posting on. i am not looking for an argument at all.
just thought it was worth mentionoing that women can have wonderful happy, honored outcomes in the hospital.
i do also realize that i am in a minority, in the fact that i such lovely births( you know, other then the 5+hours of pushing ..)
i feel that i experienced what every hospital birthing mother should get to experience.
i do not like to feel as if i am less of a mother or a woman becasu ei chose to do it in a hospital setting though.
( not at all saying that you guys are doing that though)

fwiw, i scream my full head off at the tlc shows.. well i did when i used to watch them!

i had inermittant monitoring with all the beebs.. as i was up and mobile or on a ball or in a tub.
there was never a time where i "had" to have something..
kwim?

gee, the more i type, the more i do realize that i am lucky.
but given my experience, i stick by what i said, that hospital birth doesn't equate failure or poor outcome.
i am a ebf, cd'ing,bw'ing momma...and when i say my births were wonderful, and i was honored, i don't say that as some blithering uninformed idiot.

the fact that i decided i was unpleased with midwives had to do with other issues, and nothing to do with delivery.( unless you count that 5 hour thing..)
post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelsi View Post
Have you ever seen the birth on that old NOVA program? You can download it and watch it for free on their website.
Yk, I have no idea. I saw it once when I was nine, and didn't know any different, then, sadly, once again when I was 26 and about to have my first, and I STILL didn't know any different. Don't know if I'd have the stomach for it now! I was yelling at the show last night, too! ITA with your post.


lizzie
post #12 of 42
IMO, when someone says they're planning a natural birth in the hospital, the first hurdle is to have anything resembling a natural birth. The second hurdle is how their baby is handled, treated and done to. I honestly believe that people tend to forget about all the "stuff" done to babies - not to mention the real risks of bacteria and viruses you would not find in the home.

I cannot watch those shows at all. I cannot even watch - or read - most homebirth stories. Why is it that women are still using the language "they let me do..." and "my doctor will allow"?? Is it a natural birth if you have to ask someone to use the bathroom?
post #13 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kinsey43 View Post
My DS' birth WAS exactly like what was described - except I WASN'T able to push him out (uphill, w/the epidural still going - WTF?) before the arbritrary time limit was up. Completely unnecessary c/s. However, I was NOT happy with it. In fact, I had to get counseling for PTSD. It was a birth rape.
That's awful, kinsey. What's awesome is that you're here now, and took control of your dd's birth!

I should add that the sOB in attendance with the birth I described with the arbitrary time limit was a woman, which, for me, it seems even worse when another woman treats you this way, and she "allowed" the woman to push for TWO HOURS, and then said the "15 minute" comment. The birthing woman was exhausted. She had been pushing on her back for the whole time, and it was a case where she was dilated fully, but not having any urge to push. So they totally stressed out mother and child for two hours, then threatened to cut her open if she didn't get to work.

I didn't have to go through anything like that either, but my wishes were not respected in many important instances, and that's why I searched out the UC community. Women, birthing or not, just deserve better treatment than that!! I'm just sad for women who have deluded themselves into thinking that that standard of "care" is what's acceptable treatment for themselves and their children, (yk, like I did with my first two births) believing the scaremongerers and giving up the sovereignty they have over their own bodies.


lizzie
post #14 of 42
That sounds awful.

I had three hospital births, too, and thankfully they were - for the MOST part - very peaceful births. The hospital staff is very NCB-friendly; one of my doctors was not, and he really destroyed what could have been a beautiful birth experience. One of my only regrets is not staying home when I was in labor with my daughter.

I know I threw them for a loop when I said I didn't want them to break down the bed, didn't want them to count, that I had my own music, that I was waiving the IV, etc...but they were very excited about it in the long run. The nurses watched with awe as I walked through the halls at 9cm dilated. My OB said, "This is what birth is supposed to be like!" What a nice thing to hear during transition.
post #15 of 42
Whenever I watch those shows and get upset, I remind myself that IT IS A TV SHOW. THEIR GOAL IS TO CREATE DRAMA. Seriously - this becomes my mantra. My births were NEVER like what they show on TV. But man o man, there ARE some TV shows where I wish my life was like! :-)

But yes, I share your rant.
post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamamidwife View Post
I cannot even watch - or read - most homebirth stories.
It makes me feel a little better to know that I am not the only one who feels that way. I have read stories passed on to me as "such a great story" and "a peaceful, normal birth" and been absolutely cringing.
post #17 of 42
I hear about many nice enough hospital births...I read and see on TV and hear from IRL mamas about the horrible ones even more. Even with my second "ok" hospital birth, so much over-managing crap went on that stole from the beauty of one of my happiest moments of my life. (Getting dragged to my side when I was pushing in effort to get me flat on my back...getting pit without my knowledge or consent...getting stitched up for a tear without the local analgesic taking...having Dh dive beween the clamp and ds's cord to protect his still pulsing oxygen line) Everyone there (besides Dh and I) thought it was the most beautiful birth they had ever seen! :

And something that nags on me about my first hospital birth...a cna in training was there (among 20 other fricken ppl!) ...she sent me a card a day later, thanking me for letting her be a witness to something so beautiful she cried. She witnessed one of the traumatic experiences of my life...she'll forever think it was so wonderful and the Dr's so heroic to save us both.
post #18 of 42
I gave birth in September of 2005 in the hospital. It was the worst experience of my life. I only went to the hospital because I was suffering from Cholestasis, and decided the risks of waiting were too great. What a mistake. I don't have the energy to relay my story here. But I managed to suffer all of the injustices being discussed, including the doctor (female) threatening to cut me open if I didn't start progressing, that horrible monitor piercing my sweet baby's scalp, the pitocin nightmare...in rampant overuse across the country, rude teenage nurses, and my favorite, no response to the broken heat in my room...actually the A/C blew constantly overnight. (we finally called maintenance ourselves)
Just thought I would add my opinion of birth at the hospital....at least my local hospital. Giving birth there would be a great interrogation technique for the military.
post #19 of 42
i would not ask anyone to apologize for they way they feel. i realize what board i am posting on. i am not looking for an argument at all.
just thought it was worth mentionoing that women can have wonderful happy, honored outcomes in the hospital.


first, no one stated otherwise.

second, by bringing in your assertion of how 'great' your hospital birth is to a bunch of UCers who are upset by the fact that their opinions about birthing in hospitals *for themselves* and for women in general (due to the fact that the majority are violating--particularly elective hospital births) are completely rejected by most people, and particularly by mainstream people, you are 'arguing here.'

personally, i find it offensive how every time i bring up--even in a safe forum--how i want to UC, how awesome i think UC is, how i fear for women in hospitals, how more likely they and their children are to be harmed by being in a hospital, someone comes along to tell me "but it can be good" or "but i had a good time there" or "i would never do UC because if it goes wrong. . ."

do you know what i'm saying? I can't even assert, in my own forum, that i don't like the very construct of hospital births, the mentalitiy behind them, without someone saying "oh, but there ar those good ones."

yeah, i know that there are good ones. my mom had a good one (natural, no drugs, etc). i know other women who absolutely need hospitals and have good experiences there (including good c-section experiences that were non-emergency but still absolutely necessary). i dont' say that hospitals are per-se bad.

but when i'm frustrated that my culture and everyone around me is saying "get a painless birth through elective c-section" or "your baby will die if you do it alone at home!" or any of the other nonsense that i get, culturally, on a daily basis, and i come to a forum to vent about it, to say that i'm frustrated with the pushiness of our culture in regards to hospital births (being safest, etc), to have someone say "oh, but it can be great" is just not at all helpful.
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdnmom View Post
Ironically as I am reading your rant I'm listening to Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters"....the lyrics perfectly lend to the mis-spent trust that these women place in the medical establishment and how we live an alternative way.

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us, something new
Open mind for a different view
and nothing else matters

never cared for what they say
never cared for games they play
never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know
and I know

So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
No, nothing else matters
That song is actually my birthing song ... I play it on loop throughout my births... I kinda interpret it differently, though I also had a hospital birth with the first, and plan for one with this kiddo... but my hospital rocks, and I can be quite bossy, as can DH. My wishes WILL be carried out, period. But I do totally understand that hospital birthing can suck for a LOT of people, my SIL included, who birthed two months after I did.
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