Why do people let their OB's "play god"?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not in any of these forums, but I read a lot of things about women whose doctors won't "let them" go past their due date or 41 weeks, or they get induced early for no medical reason. I feel like more and more women are just letting these things happen and they aren't questioning it and don't realize the risks involved or that their OB might not always be right.
I've also been noticing a lot of "if the baby is too big" things, and they are talking about 8 or 9 lbs. So that is a reason for a c-section!? Has no one ever given birth vaginally to a 9 pound baby? My god. It's just infuriating!

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#2 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 02:13 PM
 
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I feel the same frustration, and I just don't get it, either. There are so many women who seem to take no personal responsibility for their bodies, their babies, or their births. I guess it is easier in some ways to just wash your hands of it and let some one else hold the bag, but that is nothing I am interested in doing. I can't imagine relinquishing what is supposed to be one of the most miraculous experiences in my life to someone who is potentially a stranger (who knows who might be on call for their delivery?!).

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#3 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 02:25 PM
 
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It's simply easier. Doing the research and taking control is hard work. I don't think most people are up to it. Plus our society puts an incredible amount of pressure on pregnant women to just do as the doctor says and insinuates that doing anything else is irresponsible and is risking the life of the baby. I feel sorry for these women.

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#4 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 02:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fawnanddoe View Post
Not in any of these forums, but I read a lot of things about women whose doctors won't "let them" go past their due date or 41 weeks, or they get induced early for no medical reason. I feel like more and more women are just letting these things happen and they aren't questioning it and don't realize the risks involved or that their OB might not always be right.
I've also been noticing a lot of "if the baby is too big" things, and they are talking about 8 or 9 lbs. So that is a reason for a c-section!? Has no one ever given birth vaginally to a 9 pound baby? My god. It's just infuriating!
because most people do not really think for themselves and believe that doctors know all... I do not understand it at all. I suppose they really do think Doctors are super people who know everything. Most women really do not see the benefit or purpose of researching things for them selves. Many women also have the mentality of *well so-and-so did it and her baby is fine, so it is okay...* This is a huge pet peeve of mine...

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#5 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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Try having a VBAC! It is infuriating to battle all the OB/Hospital rules but try having a natural VBAC! That totally takes for another spin! Having a strong birthplan and learning to say the word "NO!" is sooo important. So is researching what is best for you and the babe so that you have some ground to stand on. Sigh...don't get me started!

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#6 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 02:58 PM
 
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That's why I began looking for a place like MDC - I got tired of all the "my doctor won't let me" elsewhere.

It was a midwife who encouraged me to feel empowered and responsible for my own health and body. Before then, I too used to think that doctors knew everything.
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#7 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 04:19 PM
 
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I find that OBs really don't educate their patients on all the risks and stuff like a midwife does (there are exceptions, of course). I learned WAY more from my mw with my 2nd pregnancy then I ever knew with my OB and my first. And OBs present things like they are not options, where as a mw will present the pros/cons and let you decide. I also think that women get tired of being pregnant and would rather induce then respect their baby's timeline. Or it's more convenient for them.

And I had a 10lb 10oz baby vaginally, so I think the big baby thing is a whole load of crap! It's an excuse to schedule because it's more convenient for the OB.

Now there are valid reasons to induce or do a c/s (pre-e, previos c/s with vertical scar or complications that do increase moms risk for rupture (not a traditional c/s though), baby in distress, mom's health, etc). But those are few and far between.

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#8 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 04:21 PM
 
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I think a lot of women agree to be induced before they are in labor (and before 41.5 weeks) because by that point, most women are so physically and mentally exhausted from the pregnancy, induction seems like an easy exit strategy. Most women don't know about the risks associated with induction.

I will admit, when I was pg with DD, I begged to be induced at my 40 week appointment. Fortunately, my OB told me my cervix wasn't ripe for induction. (I ended up going into labor on my own the next day.) This time I'm better informed and I would't agree to be induced unless it was medically necessary (pre-e).

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#9 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 04:33 PM
 
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Plus our society puts an incredible amount of pressure on pregnant women to just do as the doctor says and insinuates that doing anything else is irresponsible and is risking the life of the baby.
This.

Also, I think doctors seriously abuse their authority and power over women. It's illegal for most professionals to do that - a teacher can't have sex with a student, a police officer isn't supposed to bully someone, etc. You're not allowed to use your position of power to influence those submissive to you, you know? It's actually punishable by law.

And yet we let doctors do this over and over again. Inductions so OBs can go on vacation. Scheduled c/s to avoid 3am births. And lots of women don't even know they have options - they just assume the doctor, the one in the power position, is right. I honestly wouldn't have had a clue had I not stumbled upon MDC.

It makes me sick really. I'd love to be the Erin Brokovich of birthing; file a class action suit against providers on behalf of all birthing women. But gah, I'm having a baby on my own this fall so it's prolly not gonna happen.

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#10 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 04:38 PM
 
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Ugh, I just read a story in a stupid gossip magazine about Andy Firestone (I think he was a Bachelor?)'s wife who in the interview said she had to have a c-section because her baby was too big. Then I looked to see how big her baby was... 8lbs even! Smaller than my first who came out perfectly fine! That's not big to me at all!!

My sis in law got induced BEFORE her due date so her OB wouldn't have to be in the hospital for Christmas. Ugh.
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#11 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree that most OB's do not list the pros and cons for their patients. Sometimes I will watch A Baby Story (I don't know why, that show always makes me mad) and they nurse or doctor is always saying something like "Ok, we have to start you on pitocin, it will speed up labor. Then we will put your order in for an epi", they don't even give them the pitocin as an OPTION, it's always 'this is what we are going to do'. I imagine that's what it is like with inductions and everything of the sort too.
I find it really sad that women don't research their options these days. Since everyone else is doing it, it must be right. Right?

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#12 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 04:55 PM
 
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I don't think it's as simple as saying one person does the research, so they make the right choice, and another person is lazy and so they do whatever the doctor tells them. There's an incredible amount of pressure in pregnancy and childbirth, not just from the doctor, but from society, family, other mamas, friends, even strangers chime in. And moms-to-be, especially first-timers, are often exhausted, hormonal, bewildered. They want the very best for their babies, and these options are presented as the very best choice. For every publication out there that says natural childbirth is the way to go, there's another one (or six) telling them otherwise.

Instead of judging other mothers as ignorant or assuming they didn't care enough, I like to think that every woman is coming at the childbirth experience believing she is doing the best for her child. Maybe they come to different conclusions than I do.

And maybe some moms don't research. Maybe they do just accept blindly what the doctors tell them. But I think to change that, there needs to be systemic change in our culture. It can't be laid at one woman's feet.

My two cents in, I'm going to move this into the general pregnancy forum since it's not a DDC-specific topic. That way you can get input from some other mamas as well.

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#13 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 05:04 PM
 
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While it's easy to do, it's not just the doctors who are to blame here. It's the whole industry- the hospitals, doctors, and the insurance companies. Doctors have so much liability I would be scared to be a doctor today. So people are so sue-happy, the whole profession has to make sure their behinds are covered.

Having a scheduled c-cection during office hours, with the regular staff (anestheisologist, ob, etc) already there is less risky than an emergency, middle-of-the-night c-cection---especially in a smaller hospital.

Which is also why- especially in smaller hospitals- vbacs are out of the question. Because there is a risk- no matter how small- insurance companies/heath care administrators/whomever don't even want to take the chance. Scheduling a c-section is just easier.

AND...it's about making money. A woman can't be allowed to labor too long- she's tying up a bed that could go to the next paying customer already. Get them in, get the baby out, get on to the next one. That's how (amongst other things) they make their money. Who cares if what could be amazing moments between a mother and child are lost every day???

I think a big question is...WHY aren't more women taking charge of their health care? WHY DO they just let things (interventions) happen without questioning? And...WHAT can we do to help more women think?

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#14 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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I can't respond to this thread without getting really worked up so I'll just lurk and eat my popcorn. :

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#15 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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While it's easy to do, it's not just the doctors who are to blame here. It's the whole industry- the hospitals, doctors, and the insurance companies. Doctors have so much liability I would be scared to be a doctor today. So people are so sue-happy, the whole profession has to make sure their behinds are covered.

Having a scheduled c-cection during office hours, with the regular staff (anestheisologist, ob, etc) already there is less risky than an emergency, middle-of-the-night c-cection---especially in a smaller hospital.

Which is also why- especially in smaller hospitals- vbacs are out of the question. Because there is a risk- no matter how small- insurance companies/heath care administrators/whomever don't even want to take the chance. Scheduling a c-section is just easier.

AND...it's about making money. A woman can't be allowed to labor too long- she's tying up a bed that could go to the next paying customer already. Get them in, get the baby out, get on to the next one. That's how (amongst other things) they make their money. Who cares if what could be amazing moments between a mother and child are lost every day???

I think a big question is...WHY aren't more women taking charge of their health care? WHY DO they just let things (interventions) happen without questioning? And...WHAT can we do to help more women think?
Yes, I agree with you. Money plays a huge role in everything. Pharma and insurance companies also play a huge role in the medical world. This is why I have to pay a bunch of money out of pocket to go to a freestanding birth center, because it's not associated with a hospital and therefore not deemed "safe".

I am constantly trying to get the word out there to women that they have options, because unfortunately a lot of people don't know that they do. A lot of people don't realize you can refuse a lot of things, and that's really sad!

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#16 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 05:19 PM
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I'm glad someone else mentioned a Baby Story because I was talking about this in my DDC...
That show is soo unbelievable. Those women might as well be comatose for all the thought they put into their births.

I have to disagree that it isn't that women don't educate themselves, they just genuinely think they are doing the right thing...
Yes there can be incredible pressure from friends/family/society etc; however having switched from an OB to a MW at 27 weeks I was able to see firsthand how blindly most women in the OB office would just nod their heads at whatever their doc says. I would chat with them in the waiting room and "doc says I'm going to be induced on this day and it's so exciting!!" "Oh, is something the matter?" "No what do you mean?"

They really just don't get it. I do believe that if women really educated themselves on the subject they wouldn't be so keen to flop on a bed get hooked up to monitors and have that baby yanked out of them while being screamed at to push with their legs in stirrups...How many women would be willing to push in that way if they knew how substantially it increased the risk of a serious tear or the fact that it doesn't help the baby descend at all?
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#17 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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Try having a VBAC! It is infuriating to battle all the OB/Hospital rules but try having a natural VBAC! That totally takes for another spin! Having a strong birthplan and learning to say the word "NO!" is sooo important. So is researching what is best for you and the babe so that you have some ground to stand on. Sigh...don't get me started!

Oh I'm right there with you!! My OB said "we don't do vbacs" to which I replied "oh, that's nice, cause I don't do repeat c-sections" He doesn't like me too much heeheehee

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#18 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 05:25 PM
 
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but I read a lot of things about women whose doctors won't "let them" go past their due date or 41 weeks
Well, for some of this stuff, there really can be a power struggle at play, and if you don't want to make your waves too big, sometimes you have fewer options. If you talk with your doctor, and make clear that their professional opinion doesn't matter to you, then that's not going to be your doctor. They can say no. If your doctor says that in their opinion, it's not worth the risk to go past 41 weeks, and if you try to push that by more than a day or two, by outright refusing to submit, then that doctor can refuse to care for you, and you're left with whoever will.
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#19 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, for some of this stuff, there really can be a power struggle at play, and if you don't want to make your waves too big, sometimes you have fewer options. If you talk with your doctor, and make clear that their professional opinion doesn't matter to you, then that's not going to be your doctor. They can say no. If your doctor says that in their opinion, it's not worth the risk to go past 41 weeks, and if you try to push that by more than a day or two, by outright refusing to submit, then that doctor can refuse to care for you, and you're left with whoever will.
WHO definitions of a NORMAL pregnancy (37-42wks) by that definition "abnormal" only occurs when you hit 42+1, and I don't think that past 42 weeks is abnormal, there are a lot of mamas who gave birth later than that and their babies were not "overdue". I don't think that by telling them you refuse an induction at 41 weeks is grounds for your dismissal as a patient (and I think it's absurd that doctors can fire patients anyway since they are technically our employees).

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#20 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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But also that 41 week thing isn't even about making waves. a lot of women don't even realize "normal" gestation goes up to 42 weeks.

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#21 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 05:42 PM
 
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(and I think it's absurd that doctors can fire patients anyway since they are technically our employees).
So, what would actually happen, if you refuse to induce, your OB fires you, maybe even your midwife. Do you have to do an unassisted birth? Could you still go the hospital? Could they take away your rights there?

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#22 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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I have seen many times a woman say, "oh, my doc says we HAVE to induce because the baby is to big", or "because I'm past my due date"
Um, haven't our bodies been doing this for centuries?? It's irritating these days how un-educated some women are. Your body was made to do this, baby will come when its ready. Don't force it out! That can be more dangerous for your baby, than you just going a little over you ESTIMATED due date. That's another thing- a "due date" is not set in stone. A "typical" pregnancy lasts APPROXIMATELY 40 weeks, right? so that means GIVE-OR-TAKE! It can go longer, and some women never go past 38weeks. I don't even understand why most OB's push for induction. And the excuse of a baby being too big? GIVE ME A BREAK! My mother was 5'1", small frame, 110lbs before pregnancy, and she delivered a 12lb3oz baby boy, at home, med free. Um, I wouldn't believe a doc saying the baby was too big unless the baby was actually stuck in the birth canal. You see too many times on these baby shows where the ob says the baby will be too big, over 9lbs or whatever, then convince the mother she needs a c/s, and baby is born at 6 or 7lbs. It's ridiculous.

Ok, sorry, my part of the rant is over...

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#23 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 05:51 PM
 
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I don't think that by telling them you refuse an induction at 41 weeks is grounds for your dismissal as a patient
I think if you tell them their professional opinion doesn't matter to you, they can certainly feel like there's no point working with you. I don't think someone has to have a "good enough" reason to decide to not work with you. They probably have their own set of things which would send up the flags, but I don't think it's like you can go to the unemployment and complain about wrongful termination like you could for a job.


I had a doctor (in a different country) tell me that I needed to find a new doctor, because she absolutely would not consider assisting a woman who insisted on delivering in any position other than in the stir-ups. Hands and knees was absolutely out of the question, she wouldn't do it, she said. And that is her choice. She was nice enough to give me a few names of doctors she thought would be willing to work with my unusual requests. She didn't fire me as a patient, but knew that I felt as strongly as she felt, and one of her criteria for having me as a patient, was that I understand she's the one running the show. She was very polite about it all too. I was glad she was so straightforward, because the next doctor I found was a better fit. I certainly wouldn't have wanted a power struggle in the delivery room. Oh, but even the doctor I did choose, she was also against the hands and knees position, but she was fine with squatting, and with a more general shift in power over to me in the first place. But just things were different there. Midwifery wasn't even an option, and the hospitals have very strict rules too.
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#24 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 05:55 PM
 
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So, what would actually happen, if you refuse to induce, your OB fires you, maybe even your midwife. Do you have to do an unassisted birth? Could you still go the hospital? Could they take away your rights there?
There are usually other doctors in your area. But if things don't hit the fan until you're due, your options are obviously limited. You don't have much time for interviewing.

And yeah, people show up in hospitals in labor without having an assigned doc or midwife in the area.
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#25 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I would absolutely refuse an induction at 41 weeks. I would not say outright that I did not think their medical opinion didn't matter to me, but I would ask them if there was any medical reason why they would want to induce me at 41 weeks if normal gestation is up to 42 weeks. They couldn't tell me that normal gestation was NOT 42 weeks, and if I had a healthy pregnancy they can't make up medical reason on why they have to induce then.

Then again I would never be with a doctor or midwife that would tell me they do not let their patients go beyond that. Unfortunately this falls into the women not educating themselves. How many people do you think ask what their doctors policies are for things such as induction or cesarean rate? Sad to say probably not a lot of people do.

When I went on the tour of my birth center I asked them all sorts of questions. I asked about their transfer rate, the percentage of the transfers that result in c-section, I asked about inductions and all that good stuff, and I made an informed decision to go with them.

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#26 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 06:01 PM
 
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Dmariev, that's what they did to my cousin! "You're not going to be able to give birth to your baby, he will be way too big! You need a c-section!" He was just over 7 pounds.

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#27 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 08:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fawnanddoe View Post
Then again I would never be with a doctor or midwife that would tell me they do not let their patients go beyond that. Unfortunately this falls into the women not educating themselves. How many people do you think ask what their doctors policies are for things such as induction or cesarean rate? Sad to say probably not a lot of people do.
I think people really want to believe that by hiring a professional, someone who has years of medical school and lots of experience with delivering babies, that they are doing what they are supposed to do. They probably figure that the medical people know best, seeing that this is their profession. Also they may have spoken to friends, relatives and neighbors about birth, and been exposed to those birth experiences, so all of this seems par for the course. It's only when other people talk to them and share different experiences, or share books that look at all the issues behind the modern birth model and how it came to be, that pregnant might realize there are other options of which they need to be aware.

Also, when you are working with an OB, you really don't have the ability to let your buying power dictate--like when buying a car, for example. We can say that you are paying them, they work for you, but I don't think most OBs see it that way; with the pressures they have on them in terms of liability, they may not be willing to take what seems to be a risk and is outside of the model of birth that feels safest to them.
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#28 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by belltree View Post
So, what would actually happen, if you refuse to induce, your OB fires you, maybe even your midwife. Do you have to do an unassisted birth? Could you still go the hospital? Could they take away your rights there?
I believe that a doctor has to give you 30 days before they will stop seeing you. Could I trust the doctor to give me the best care during the 30 days? Heck no!

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#29 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Every patient does have rights. i think I have also heard the 30 day rule too. So a doctor cannot tell a woman who is 40 or 41 weeks that he will no longer be seeing her.

And the whole getting fired as a patient thing is a non-issue because I am talking about woman that just nod their heads and say "ok!" when their doctor tells them they have to be induced. The women who don't question it and just go along with it. Anyone that is dead set against it would probably know ahead of time what the doctor's policies are.

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#30 of 122 Old 05-07-2009, 08:31 PM
 
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Part of it is the 'doctor knows best' mentality we have in this culture, part of it is that doctors simply refuse to educate their patients anymore, and part of it is outright bullying.

For the first 20 weeks of this pregnancy I was seeing both an OB and a homebirth midwife, and the differences were amazing. My midwife listened to me, talked me through my (many and absurd) fears (I may win a 'most neurotic homebirther' award ), showed me how things work, and generally has taught me a lot. My OB and her staff would barely look me in the eye, used "but you don't want to hurt your baby" as their FIRST line of reasoning, and couldn't explain anythign to me at all.

Case in point, at my 16 week checkup: "Ok, drink this, wait an hour and get your blood drawn." Me: "My dr. says I don't need to this." Nurse: "But you're on metformin." Me: "I"M NOT DIABETIC!!!!" (I have PCOS) Nurse: "well, we'll do it anyways." Me: "Doctor says I don't need it." Nurse: "But you don't want to hurt your baby, do you?"

Yeah, I stopped going to an OB shortly after that.

I ahve a friend who's as pregnant as me and the difference in care we're receiving is similarly stunning. My MW has shown me how to figure out how my baby is positioned; my friend thinks you can't do that without ultrasound. Etc. etc. etc.

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