Obstetrics/Gynecology and Sublimation - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 87 Old 04-05-2005, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That intrathecal thread has certainly opened a lot of discussions!

When I was taking psych in college, one of the things we learned about were coping mechanisms. One of them being sublimating, where people take socially unacceptable traits and choose a career that makes them acceptable, ie; the voyuer takes up photography, the violent take up boxing, and the misogynist takes up gynecology or obstetrics.

The OB cutting my client against her wishes (posted in the intrathecal thread) did so with such glee it was sickening. I have no doubt in my mind that if he wasn't legally and in a socially acceptable way cutting women's privates up, he would no doubt be doing so in other dark and evil ways. Becoming an OB/GYN gives him an avenue for indulging in a perversion of his, and he can convince everyone, including himself, that cutting up vaginas is a good and right thing to do.
I see or hear about subtle forms of this often. Almost every woman I know detests having a pap smear done. When they come into my care, and I do a pap for them, they are amazed that it didn't hurt. Most tell me that their GYN (usually male) made it so traumatic for them that they put it off for years.
Vaginal exams that are rough and painful, interviews that take place with the woman naked and on a table with only a paper sheet to cover herself, having a woman remove her clothing before she even meets the doctor, these are all designed to make her more vulnerable and weak.
I even read a paper published in a ACOG journal about how to make a woman more compliant and less vocal by using the above mentioned techniques and others, like sitting behind a huge desk in a chair designed to make the doctor look bigger, while she sits in a small and uncomfortable chair. This is designed to bring back memories of being a child in the presence of an authority figure (think principals office) and to make her more likely to obey.

Thoughts?
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#2 of 87 Old 04-05-2005, 10:01 PM
 
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I definitely think you have a point. I don't think this is true of course of every OB out there, but I've seen a lot who really get off on having control over women.
I think obstetrics as a field gets off on having control. Why else is there such amazing persistence of practices that are so clearly known to have no benefit? Why on earth is anyone in the world using routine episiotomies when dozens of studies have shown that they cause more pain, more tears and extensions, more incontinence, etc., etc.?
I have the same experience when I do pap smears, too. If I can mostly due them comfortably, surely everybody could
I don't understand how this got to be our birth culture, and how it can be reversed.
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#3 of 87 Old 04-05-2005, 10:17 PM
 
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Oh no! I thought I was lifting a quote (yes I am narcissistic) from this post and replying to a post lower down on the thread, and I managed to erase my own (very eloquent if I do say so myself) post! Geez. Anyway, I think I said something like...

I DO know why our birth culture is so horrible. Patriarchy has been seeking to remove and appropriate women's power for many years. Think of Goddess religion turned Christianity, midwifery turned obstetrics, witchcraft turned priesthood, the wage gap, the devaluing of work that has traditionally been the province of women.

Birth is tremendously powerful. It is the very perpetuation of human life. No wonder the patriarchy would seek to control it, by teaching women that it is too much for us, that our bodies are not built properly to do it, that we *need* intervention, and to get it we must unquestioningly accept what the medical establishment decides to do to us.

Then I said this (the only part of my post I have left):

This is the reason why I believe taking back our births is so important. I actually don't think epidurals have major effect on babies (pls don't flame or dispute, this is not the point). The point is that even IF individual interventions are relatively harmless, it is the culture of dependence on and control by the medical establishment that is so harmful.

Anyway, carry on...
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#4 of 87 Old 04-05-2005, 11:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
I actually don't think epidurals have major effect on babies (pls don't flame or dispute, this is not the point). The point is that even IF individual interventions are relatively harmless, it is the culture of dependence on and control by the medical establishment that is so harmful.
I agree with you, actually. My reasons for not wanting an epidural are really more for myself than for my baby. I don't want the increased risk of a c-section, I don't want pitocin and an episiotomy because my body's ability to birth has been dampened by drugs, I don't want to passively "be delivered" of my baby. I want to be as present as possible in one of the most dramatically powerful moments of my life. I don't want to surrender that experience, even if it hurts like hell.
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#5 of 87 Old 04-06-2005, 04:12 AM
 
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Oh yes yes yes! Not enough YES in the world to tell you how much I agree with you! I think this form of "care" (huh!) is institutionalised rape and violence against women. And we are just as accepting of it in our societies as we are of other forms of violence against women. After all, if we didn't accept it, wouldn't we all be working to stop it? Running programmes like "Birth is great and you're in charge of your own body" or "Drugs in birth? Just say NO!" or "If scalp monitors don't hurt, stick it in your head first!" "Episiotomy is genital mutilation." I am always so saddened by the women I come into contact with who are almost unable to own the trauma which occurred because their brain is in conflict over it. On the one hand they know it felt bad, but OTOH they are told over and over how doctors only do good, they only do stuff which is necessary yada yada yada. There are millions of women who think it's birth which is traumatic when in actual fact it's what was *done* to them under the guise of birth which is traumatic. And there are millions of traumatised women because of this conventional medical behaviour. What happened to bodily integrity? What happened to consent?
Oh I could rave for hours!
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#6 of 87 Old 04-06-2005, 09:27 AM
 
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I agree with you totally! I don't think they all are in it for that reason, but yeah. I can see that. That's a shame about your client.

I had something like that done to me with my first. It was a clinic, so I didn't get to choose my doctor, and the guy was a complete jerk. I told him I didn't want an episiotomy, and he laughed and did it anyway. At my pp visit i was *lucky* enough to get him again, and he told me I was starving my baby and that if I continued to breastfeed he's call cps... (slow weight gain). so me being naive and young and scared, quit. (much later on i when i knew so much more, i looked at her baby book and saw she had regained her birth weight plus 1/2 pound 5 weeks pp...)

anyway, yeah, i agree...

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#7 of 87 Old 04-06-2005, 10:15 AM
 
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Yes, yes, yes!!!!!!
Absolutely!!!! I remember the first time I finally realized that was true. I truely remember the moment. It was a revelation, and epiphany. It change my entire life from that moment on. I was ( and still am ) angry, angry, angry about it. I have dedicated much of my life since then to helping to be part of a change. Change is slow, but I'm willing to help one woman at a time.
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#8 of 87 Old 04-06-2005, 11:46 PM
 
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I always found it wierd and was very supicious of any male ob. And I am amazed you give pap smears and exams that don't hurt! I have had maybe....oh three in my life and that is all I will have. Next one I have (if I need one really bad) will definately be from a woman as I don't believe I should be taking my clothes off for a man other than my hubby even if he is a doc. My last exam I had done out of pure fear and ignorance. I had just gotten pregnant and hadn't found a mw yet and had such awful cramps that I was worried so I went to an ob. Everything was normal of course.

I left there feeling soooo awful. It hurt like heck when he stuck his fingers in me and then he stuck them somewhere else without asking! I'm like, "why do you need to check there?" Then when he examined my upper half he asked me to put my arms behind my head, ok, so I did. Then he left my legs in the stirrups and the top of my gown open while he chatted a bit about what he thought. You would think I would jump up and cover myself but strangly found myself frozen in that position feeling totally awful. I don't know why I didn't say anything, they truly do put you in a position of weakness and I felt so dumb for not saying anything about it. :

I mean seriously, why the heck would a guy want to do this for a living??? Any decent guy I know says no way in hell he would do that for a living. What is the attraction? Gee, I wonder.

And how can any man do a better job than a woman when it comes to these things? They can't exactly relate...

Oh and HeatherE: luv the sig

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#9 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 01:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenkids
Becoming an OB/GYN gives him an avenue for indulging in a perversion of his, and he can convince everyone, including himself, that cutting up vaginas is a good and right thing to do.
I see or hear about subtle forms of this often.
Years ago, I read an account by Bruno Bettleheim about a little boy cutting off the breasts of a Barbie doll...this was a little boy who was in therapy...he told Dr. Bettleheim that he wanted to take out all of the organs that women have to make babies because he did not like the fact that girls could make babies and little boys can not.

I do not know where I read this exactly, but I know for sure that I read it in reference to feminist literature.

i believe what you say, and I think that many men are in obstetrics.

Another note about obstetricians is that the cream of the medical school crop does not notably go into the ob/gyn field...the top of the class usually goes into internal medicine or cardiology.

Not always, but, obstetricians tend to come from the lower 10% of their medical class.
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#10 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 01:08 AM
 
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Question: What do you call the person who graduates last in their medical class?

Answer: Doctor.
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#11 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 01:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
epidural do not hurt the baby. (pls don't flame or dispute, this is not the point).
No, it is not the point, then why make it...

See the twenty year study done by Bertil Jacobson done in the Scandanivian countries on just this point.
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#12 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 01:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
...epidurals do not affect the baby. (pls don't flame or dispute, this is not the point).
No, it is not the point, then why make it...

See the twenty year study done by Bertil Jacobson done in the Scandanivian countries on just this point.

ETA

http://www.birthpsychology.com/lifeb...wombsafe3.html

Furthermore ask women whose mothers took DES if they were hurt; ask the third generation. No one really knows until it is too late. (seventy-eight years)

http://www.cdc.gov/DES/consumers/res...offspring.html
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#13 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 01:31 AM
 
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This is what I said in its entirety:

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
This is the reason why I believe taking back our births is so important. I actually don't think epidurals have major effect on babies (pls don't flame or dispute, this is not the point). The point is that even IF individual interventions are relatively harmless, it is the culture of dependence on and control by the medical establishment that is so harmful.
I know many women who've given birth and opted for epidurals, and I don't like that it is yet another source of guilt for mamas disproportionate with its actual effects. Nobody I know has had a baby suffer any short-term or long-term noticeable effects from the epi, and yet many of my friends feel like for "caving" and getting it.

I don't think saying "you must give birth 100% naturally, without any medical intervention" is the answer. I think it would be nice if interventions were provided when desired or necessary, and more focus was placed on offering choice, support, and power to women when we birth. And I wish epidurals didn't come wrapped in with all the woman-hating garbage of the medical establishment.
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#14 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 01:40 AM
 
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I think this is sometimes true, but it hasn't been my personal experience. My doctor for years was the doctor who delivered me. He was a GP, but also did obstetrics. He quit obstetrics, because he got burned out on the deliveries that didn't go well. He and my next doctor (also male) did most of the paps I've ever had done, and only one or two of them hurt...my first one did, but I think that's because I was tense.

My current doctor is my GP's wife. He quit obstetrics, and she hasn't, so I go to her for prenatal care. I actually find she's rougher with pap tests than her husband is. So, I think it depends.

As for my OB/GYN...he seems to be a really good guy. My sister saw him at one point, and she says he got into the field years ago because his mother had serious "female problems" when he was young, and I believe ended up having a hysterectomy. He didn't want to see that happening to other women, so he went into obstetrics and gynecology. Maybe I've been unusually lucky - I certainly haven't been through the kind of experiences you ladies are all describing!! (My doctors do use the paper sheet, but they're very good about keeping me covered.)

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
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#15 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 01:41 AM
 
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gah! ... hence, why i "fired" my OB and had a freebirth.

i now have my paps & birth control stuff done with a female physician's assistant at my family practice.

i think you have a huge point.
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#16 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 02:06 AM
 
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I never thought about the cutting womans bodies/misogynist aspect and now that I do....yikes *shiver*!
I think it was thismama who commented on "taking back birth". How sad that we've given it up in the first place. That we listen to people who tell us that we are not enough, our bodies, our instincts, our milk is not enough.
We are no longer taught to trust ourselves, only "the professionals", who really are just people, trying to figure things out (and do a piss poor job in some areas).
For instance, why is it assumed that the male sex organ is designed to expand and stretch and then resume it's "relaxed' state but a woman's is not? Why 'must' our genitals be cut. I guess Mother Nature wasn't paying attention the day she made us!

It makes me want to spit. :
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#17 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 02:22 AM
 
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SaraJane, loved your post, my feelings exactly on male obs. Even before I had my first child and didn't know about midwives natural birth etc. I just had a instinct of I want a female dr. I don't want a guy, why would I want a guy for female things.

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I'm getting sick of this world, I may need to live on a commune some where! I miss nursing!!!
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#18 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 02:31 AM
 
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obstetrics is for people who want to do surgery, but yet they don't want to be "surgeons" per se - it's a highly surgical field.

I'm always amazed that people don't get that OBs are first and foremost, SURGEONS. to destroy something so you have to surgically piece it back together makes sense if you're a surgeon.

If you don't want to be cut, don't hire a surgeon.
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#19 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 02:34 AM
 
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Thanks. And I was just sitting here thinking. Why do they have to feel your breasts anyway? I mean, they don't feel for very long, they don't feel all that hard or anything. I know what my breasts feel like and the chance of them finding something wierd is very small with the way they check (well, the way I have been checked at least). I would think I have a better chance of noticing something out of the ordinary with my own breasts than any doctor would. I carry them around all day and wash them in the shower and do self exams sometimes. I would notice lumps and things much easier than they would. Know what I'm saying?

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#20 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 02:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamamidwife
If you don't want to be cut, don't hire a surgeon.
As in if you do not like to be bit, stay away from snakes?
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#21 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 02:43 AM
 
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LOL sarajane ~ the last exam i had, i warned the pa first that my right breast was extraordinarily full, as i hadn't had time to nurse my daughter on that side before i left for my appointment (i was running late). she just kind of went, "mm hmm" and did the exam, left side first, then went to my right and she said, "OH gosh, yes, you're right, this one IS full." don't you think we know our bodies better than anyone else?

i wish more doctors / medicos in general (including midwives!) would respect that as women, we have the capability to be superiorly (is that a word?) connected with our bodies -- aware in a way that NO-ONE else will EVER be.
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#22 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 02:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klothos
superiorly (is that a word?)
mmm...

"...more superior...?"
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#23 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 03:24 AM
 
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http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=superiorly

It is!

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#24 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 04:01 AM
 
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I've always wanted to have female gynecologists, but oddly enough I've ended up mostly with men doing my pap smears and for the most part, they didn't hurt. I deliberately chose a female OB the first time around and ended up with a male in the practice that I had never met. Yet I think turned out better because he was a gentle man who had a much calmer approach to birth. Then the OB I chose for my second birth was a really nice guy who was very sweet to my older daughter. But he definitely seemed to be a surgeon first, since everyone I knew personally who had him wound up with c-sections. I ended up switching to a homebirth midwife.

So I've had positive experiences with men, but boy, does this post make a lot of sense. I've heard so many awful stories of male doctors treating their patients in horrible ways, mostly through birth stories and books about birth that I've read. The fact that they chose to go into OB/GYN because they had mysognistic tendencies makes sense to me. I've just always wondered why some men who obviously hated women went into this kind of practice, but maybe they did choose it deliberately.
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#25 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 07:27 AM
 
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I just want to throw in that the OBs who committed my birthrape were women. It's more than the package in your pants, it's the package between your ears too...
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#26 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 09:52 AM
 
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Funny you guys should mention this. This article just ran in a local magazine. This man is proudly admitting to being a discusting, misogynistic, ego-maniac. Our birth network has already contacted the editor and will be following up in other ways, to bring this monster to task.

Personally, I had a great relationship with my last OB. He was always very respectful during paps, exams, etc. He took time to meet with us in his office - person to person. So there are good apples in the bunch. But like someone said above, if you dont want to be cut, dont hire a surgeon. This time I am planning a HB with a DEM.

Jenn, perpetually tired mom to DS(9): DD(4.5): DD(2) :
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#27 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 11:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanetF
I just want to throw in that the OBs who committed my birthrape were women. It's more than the package in your pants, it's the package between your ears too...
So true JanetF! It's the model of medicalized childbirth and childrearing (think Ezzo) that we must second guess, not our own intuition.
One would like to think that women would know better, but I guess if we all knew better, OB's would be out of business.
pax
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#28 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 12:17 PM
 
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I see or hear about subtle forms of this often. Almost every woman I know detests having a pap smear done. When they come into my care, and I do a pap for them, they are amazed that it didn't hurt. Most tell me that their GYN (usually male) made it so traumatic for them that they put it off for years.
I guess I'm an exception to this. I've have two female CNMs, One female GP, and one male OB/GYN do PAP smears on me. The only one who was gentle was my OB. I'm still not going to go back to him though, because he wanted to induce me at 39 weeks, 6 days because he'd be out of town on my "due" date.

Heather Mike Married 8/1/99 Mom to Charlotte Aug 04, Nov 06, and Katherine Oct 07
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#29 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 12:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BensMom
Funny you guys should mention this. This article just ran in a local magazine. This man is proudly admitting to being a discusting, misogynistic, ego-maniac. Our birth network has already contacted the editor and will be following up in other ways, to bring this monster to task.
Ew. What a serious creepola. Provides an interesting insight tho, into how OBs might think. Glad the birth network is on it.
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#30 of 87 Old 04-07-2005, 01:27 PM
 
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I have the same feelings about obs. I really don't understand why there are so many more male obs than female ones. I have heard that men really like the aspect of birth that its mechanical, but thats also why they are so bad with anything outside the norm. Thats why they have to make birth and labor happen in a certain way.

I am really lucky that I had an old school ob who was very pro natural birth and was very good when he did internals. He never hurt me. His office uses cotton gowns too, big old long ones I could get up and go to the bathroom in it.

Exams that hurt aren't always because the dr is trying to hurt you. The only time I was hurt by an exam was when 2 drs in training (women) did it. They actually wanted my midwife to do it because they were so unsure of themselves. She didn't even have hospital privaleges. Also the plastic speculums suck! They don't lock in place well and trust me you don't want one of those to snap closed on you during an exam! Ouchie!

I read a story years ago about a man who would drug women and then instead of rape them liked to cut their vaginas. So I def think that if these drs weren't doing it in a legal way they would be out there doing it illegally. Just like the American populus seems to think that women giving birth is somehow sexual. If its so sexual and can only be managed by an ob then what does that say about obs?

Surgeons enjoy surgery, thats why they are sugeons. My pcp says the same thing Applejuice said.

I was thinking about epidurals the other day. While women aren't strapped down to the bed anymore like they used to be, now they are given epidurals and are paralyzed. Women are told its for your benefit, you will feel no pain. It keeps women in bed just like 50 years ago when they were strapped down. It keeps women inactive. If they were to say no to a procedure what is she going to do? She can't get up and leave. Fight or flight mechinism during labor when threatened does not work then. A woman can do neither so she must give in.

I must run, but I have thuroughly enjoyed this thread.

Michelle

Expecting #9.  Always busy hsing.
Full Heart is offline  
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