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#1 of 14 Old 05-09-2011, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I didn't know which forum to post this in, so I picked this one.  Hope it fits!  There is an absolutely gigantic concern for me regarding care, and I really haven't seen it addressed anywhere on this site.  I can't believe I am the only one dealing with it.  Because of a sexual assault by a male pediatrician when I was about 13, I have a rampant fear and, yes, even hatred, of male doctors.  That was one of the reasons why with ds I opted for midwife care at a freestanding birth center.  Unfortunately for me, my membranes ruptured and over 48 hours later, still absolutely no labor.  I was sent to the hospital, and after the usual procedures (pit., etc.), told I had to to have a caesarean.  And the doctor was a man, and so was the anesthesiologist, and no one would do anything about it.  This pushed me close to feeling suicidal, and I had an awful time with ptsd for months afterwards.  I know my situation is unique, but there are a lot of women from traditional cultures who also will not (or sure don't want to) be seen and touched by strange men.  What is done about it?????  Are there no options?  For next baby I am hoping for an hbac, but now I feel I MUST have a female dr. from an all female practice whom I can call, and concurrent care sounds like such a pain.  The injustice of this situation makes me feel ill.

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#2 of 14 Old 05-09-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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I demanded a female doctor when I got to the hospital and by OB was out of town. I'm *so* not comfortable with a man seeing and touching me and that distraction sure wouldn't help me get the job done. They argued, said there wasn't one at the time, DH advocated for me and they found an OB woman who mostly just did surgeries to be there during birth, only took 20 minutes of her time. I think a man was officially overseeing my labor from outside the room or at the doorway part of the time, the nurse helped and did everything though. My DH is very persuasive and won't take no for an answer when it matters. At a large enough hospital they should have someone they can get most of the time if it's that important and somebody makes a big enough deal about it to them. In the case of a cesarean without having a doctor beforehand it might be harder to narrow down who you get, if you're in a state where homebirth midwives form practices with doctors, or have good referring relationships with doctors, that would help you but not everyone has that flexibility.

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#3 of 14 Old 05-09-2011, 05:42 PM
 
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Could you tell your doctor the situation and see if they'd be willing to come in for you, even if they're not on call?  I know some docs are willing to do this.  Good luck!


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#4 of 14 Old 05-09-2011, 05:58 PM
 
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OP, I am so sorry you had to go through those traumatic experiences. How awful. And the birth of a baby should be such a happy time, and in this society and this culture positive labor experiences seem to be too few and far between for so many reasons! I totally agree with you about wanting a female birth attendant. It just makes me too uncomfortable, and it feels "unnatural" to me. Historically, women helped women birth.This makes sense to me, even though I know some women have no problem with male attendants, and some even prefer a man. But women helping women, well, that's just how it was done for hundreds of years until modern medicine took over birthing. Going to a birth center, having a home birth, all female OB practice, going to a large hospital that is likely to have more than one doctor attending, having a large hospital as a backup, all seem like good strategies..oh, and like a previous poster mentioned, having a strong advocate in your corner when you are in that vulnerable position. Interesting topic. I will be watching it. Best to you!!

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#5 of 14 Old 05-11-2011, 12:38 AM
 
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At the beginning of my first pregnancy, I made sure my OB was a female, and that everyone in her practice was female. Near the end of the pregnancy, I realized I didn't want a medical labor(which I was going to get with THIS OB) so I switched. I found a team of hospital CNMs, there were 4 of them(all women) working on rotation. This hospital had 2 teams of OBs, one male, one female. there was always a male OB, female OB, and female MW on call at any given time. The only thing that wasn't a guarantee was the anesthesiologist. 

 

OP, would you have felt safer if you had a significant other, or doula with you?


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#6 of 14 Old 05-11-2011, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the kind words--it's nice to know other women feel the same way!  Unfortunately, I had my husband, mother, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law, plus my birth center midwife all present, and either they didn't put up enough of a fight, or the hospital just wouldn't budge.  But I wouldn't think any one could plead more eloquently than I did with my body language--I was crying and shaking so hard with pure fear (never really felt any labor pain) that they literally had to hold me down.  And this was a BIG hospital!  So yeah, next time around I will be trying to hedge my bets.  I've just read some stuff about concurrent care headaches on this site that don't make me too eager to try it!

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#7 of 14 Old 05-11-2011, 09:26 PM
 
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You definitely have every right to have an all female team but depending on the environment where you live that might take some planning.  My first thought would be to have dual care with a female doctor (all female practice who you would explain your situation to) in the event you were to transfer again.  Please don't think I am saying you can't or won't have a successful HBAC but my thinking is if you plan ahead for the worst case scenario you will be able to relax more knowing you have made choices that will work for you no matter what direction your birth goes.  


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#8 of 14 Old 05-11-2011, 09:51 PM
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I don't think you can really demand an all female staff.  You can ask, and hopefully they will do what they can to accommodate you, but the hospital has to work with the staff that they have available at the time.  Most L&D nurses are female, OBs are about 50/50 but anesthesiologists tend to be male.  

 

Hospitals must provide treatment, but you don't get to dictate who will provide this treatment.  

 

I'd get a female OB on deck and hope for the best.  If you do have male docs in the room at some point, at least you will probably have female OB and female nurses.  

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#9 of 14 Old 05-12-2011, 06:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsFortune View Post

I don't think you can really demand an all female staff.  You can ask, and hopefully they will do what they can to accommodate you, but the hospital has to work with the staff that they have available at the time.  Most L&D nurses are female, OBs are about 50/50 but anesthesiologists tend to be male.  

 

Hospitals must provide treatment, but you don't get to dictate who will provide this treatment.  

 

I'd get a female OB on deck and hope for the best.  If you do have male docs in the room at some point, at least you will probably have female OB and female nurses.  


I think this is where preplanning can be beneficial and why can she tell them she wants all female staff?  I would think they would have to honor this unless they didn't have that staff.  I have seen hospitals switch out staff to accommodate a mother.  For example, have seen a mom request a certain anesthesiologist and even when they are in surgery they will swap out to accommodate a mother, so why not the same here?  Again though I think it would take a lot of preplanning work on the patients part.  

 


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#10 of 14 Old 05-12-2011, 07:08 AM
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She can demand it, but it is not a right, and they do not have to provide this.  Just because you want something does not mean it is a right.  They have to provide medical care if you are in labor.  They do not have to provide the medical care that you choose.  

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#11 of 14 Old 05-13-2011, 05:05 AM
 
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It's not a legally protected right or anything, but it's a reasonable thing to accommodate whenever possible. It's certainly in keeping with the spirit of Mother Friendly Care to be culturally and personally sensitive. These people work for us and should try and help meet our needs. You may not find it important so you might not understand, but for some the presence of a strange man could prevent labor progress or make one feel very violated and traumatized to the extent of the OP here. I was actually asked whether I'd ever been sexually assaulted as a routine part of admission so they could be more sensitive to their patient's sensitivities.

 

Come to think of it, this country grants no rights (I believe we're describing the US medical system so it's an American context yes?). It has things no rights are allowed to be infringed upon (speech, etc). Any true rights are presumed to be inalienable and not come from law or otherwise being granted be people. I could make an argument that a woman has to right to refuse a strange man touching her from higher than any human's law. Sure if there's nobody else to help she's going to need to accept treatment from the man who can do it, but she does have the rights over her own body.

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#12 of 14 Old 05-14-2011, 12:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momto9kidlets View Post

You definitely have every right to have an all female team but depending on the environment where you live that might take some planning.  My first thought would be to have dual care with a female doctor (all female practice who you would explain your situation to) in the event you were to transfer again.  Please don't think I am saying you can't or won't have a successful HBAC but my thinking is if you plan ahead for the worst case scenario you will be able to relax more knowing you have made choices that will work for you no matter what direction your birth goes.  



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       this is really good, sensitive advice. just because you planned your first birth in a way that didn't work out, doesn't mean going for the original plan again cannot be attained. but creating a relationship with a female ob who will be sensitive to your needs in the case that you should need to transfer will certainly allow you more relaxation during your actual birth- whether you are birthing with the ob or with your midwives.

       a survivor of different instances of abuse myself, it is blatent to me that there is a rape dynamic when it comes to giving birth in a hospital, or perhaps with providers that are not keen enough to respect our wishes about our bodies. in my experience, those providers have been found in the hospital/traditional medicine scheme. i had an uc becasue there were certain protocols that i was not alright with being performed ON MY BODY that the providers would not give on. no does mean no, and anyone has that right to say no about their own body. OP, i wish you much peace in acquiring the gentle and female-based care you are seeking; you are entitled to only be touched by someone you want to touch you, and there is no reason why the hospital staff should not be able to accomodate you, should you end up there. by creating a relationship with a female ob in the first place, you will lessen the amount you have to vouch for your rights in your vulnerable time of giving birth.

 


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#13 of 14 Old 05-14-2011, 12:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amatullah0 View Post

At the beginning of my first pregnancy, I made sure my OB was a female, and that everyone in her practice was female. Near the end of the pregnancy, I realized I didn't want a medical labor(which I was going to get with THIS OB) so I switched. I found a team of hospital CNMs, there were 4 of them(all women) working on rotation. This hospital had 2 teams of OBs, one male, one female. there was always a male OB, female OB, and female MW on call at any given time. The only thing that wasn't a guarantee was the anesthesiologist. 

 

OP, would you have felt safer if you had a significant other, or doula with you?



     the idea of having a doula, either way, is a very good one as well. she will be someone is specifically there to advocate for you, so you can be present in your birthing.

 


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#14 of 14 Old 05-16-2011, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is all good stuff.  Interestingly, at the birth center I planned to got to, there were three midwives, all of whom I liked, but one whom I particularly liked and hoped would be with me when the time came.  Then a couple of months before my babe was born, the one who was the director left and the other two left at the same time (guess they didn't want to be there under the new director).  It was a little disappointing, but I figured I'd just roll with it.  Now I think the new midwife who actually did come to the hospital to be my doula wasn't really engaged in advocating for me, while the one I lost definitely would have been.  Hindsight!  But I recently found out that she has set up her own homebirth practice in town, so I will CERTAINLY be going to her when I'm pregnant again.  This was great news for me.

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