Hands Out of My Vagina

pregnant_momI first met Amanda Devereux over a year ago at a childbirth educator training I was part of in Texas. She stood out: a Registered Nurse turned doula and mother of three, she proclaimed she had “found her tribe” when she met all of us. There is something special about being a birth junkie surrounded (finally!) by other birth junkies rather than people who puke a little in their mouth when you mention what you did with your placenta. She was a lot of fun and I was excited when a short time later my boss decided that Amanda would be one of the people she would bring on to start a doula program.

Well, I wanted to share some words from her today- let’s just say she isn’t your typical nurse! Love her! Enjoy…

There’s no reason to part the curtains – and I’m not talking about the hospital room divider – I’m talking about your labia.  In a typical hospital birth a woman is often asked to:

1. Lay back – of course not flat on your back, because we know that’s bad, we’ll incline the bed juuuust a bit. . .*sigh*

2. Pull your legs back/get in stirrups/have other people hold your legs in a “modified squat,” soooo, it’s great, right? . . .

3. Curl up, chin to chest and puuuuuush 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 .  . . deep breath and come back and puuuuuuush, 2, 3, 4, . . . , one more. . . and okay, relax.

So, with an epidural during this ‘relax’ part, your vagina isn’t experiencing much relaxation, and it’s not due solely to the emerging baby.

You need to comfort the people around you.  Watching you wait until you’re told to push again isn’t entertaining, it’s excruciating! What is entertaining is THERE IS A BABY COMING OUT OF YOUR VAGINA!  And those around you want to see this, millimeter by millimeter, act by act. Birth, while exciting and fast in the movies is actually something that takes some real time.

Your vagina is a stage.

The lights are shining, the overhead spotlight is on the star, your emerging baby. But there’s a problem.  The curtains are closed. The lush curtains that have protected you and your baby are blocking the view. The doctor who has donned sterile gloves needs somewhere to put his hands, something to do .  . . . So, for the sake of the audience and the doctor’s sterile gloves, the curtains are parted.  Your labia are held open so that the fruit of your womb can be observed as you bring this miracle to earth. The show must go on!

Pushing can take a long time, particularly when a woman’s birth has been managed and observed.  ACOG says a first time mom with an epidural should be allowed 3 hours to push.  That’s a long time for your vagina to entertain the crowds and it’s a long time for a health care provider to stand with idle hands.  Beyond your vulva’s parted curtains lies your vagina, your birth canal, whose soft tissue waiting to be gently stretched by your baby’s descending head, must now provide a place of rest for the sterile hands.  But not much rest is had and of course, having nearly two entire hands pushed into your vagina while pulling around and away from one another is helpful (rolls eyes) in stretching you so that this tissue will be more welcoming and allow a quicker descent of your baby.

and in time. . .

4.  We see the head!  It’s so close!  See the hair!  Oh it’s so dark!  Look at all that hair!

5.  Do you want to see too? (It’s a can’t-miss show)

6.  Oh puuuuush . . . . . .

Take a Bow.

Seriously, though.  Let me tell you this:

Nobody needs to open the curtains.  Your baby doesn’t need a spotlight and your vagina is nobody’s stage.  You and your baby are NOT a Broadway show.

When women labor naturally they would never allow this type of manual manipulation of their vulvas and their vaginas to happen (ouch!) and no woman deserves this without consenting, epidural or not.  Unfortunately, this is what often happens at the end of the cascade of interventions. Laboring and pushing with an epidural increases a woman’s vulnerability to this type of treatment because of her lack of sensation. Sure, there are times when a healthcare provider needs to assist or assess, but this is rare and should always be done with the mother’s consent.

Women labor and babies come in the dark, in the sunlight and in whatever position the mother finds is best for her;  while no one’s looking, even (especially) when the curtains are closed.

Clearly your birth is no Broadway show. What do you do? Prepare for your birth by taking a comprehensive out-of-hospital childbirth course. Take a great birth class (like Birth Boot Camp) and feel confident in both your preparations for birth as well as your ability to birth your baby. Your partner will love it.  And, HIRE A DOULA.  Hiring a doula has been proven to reduce your need for medical pain management and reduce your cesarean rate by 50%.  Doulas are not just for natural birth – our specialty is natural birth, but any and every woman benefits from the skills and knowledge of a professional doula.

Amanda-Devereux-web

Amanda Devereux, RN, BSN, Bbcd, Bbci, CHBE  has been fascinated and inspired by pregnancy, birth, and women’s health long before she became a mother. As a devoted Nurse, Doula, Birth Boot Camp Instructor, and Mother of three, she draws from experience and compassion when supporting women beginning their own journeys into motherhood. Amanda is also co-creator and trainer of Birth Boot Camp DOULA and is co-owner of Nola Nesting

Image credit: José Manuel Ríos Valiente


27 thoughts on “Hands Out of My Vagina”

  1. This is wonderful! I would wish all mommy’s would be able to read this and take courage from it. Birth will happen, on it’s own, MOST of the time. It doesn’t usually need help or watching.

  2. I labored at home until 5cm. I wanted an all-natural birth. My Fistuluzing Crohns had other plans in the form of Crohns cramping brought on by every contraction. My baby was also not lined up properly and had not moved down the birth canal during labor any further than where he had been for two weeks. Even at full dilation. I ended up having to have a cesarean or we both would have died.
    Thanks to the pressure of Bradley Classes, family members and others touting how much better an all natural birth is, I had post partum depression for a year because I felt like a failure that I wasn’t able to give birth naturally as well as feeling like a terrible mother because my baby screamed non-stop due to undiagnosed tongue tie for 8 weeks.
    My sister had to have an emergency cesarean as well, but her baby did die due to labor complications during delivery, last Christmas. Her baby was in distress. You can imagine what a self-centered selfish a**hole I felt like for feeling sorry for myself about my birth experience when my sister’s baby DIED. Yes, died. Two days before Christmas, 8 1/2 months ago.
    If you haven’t lived it, you don’t know. Don’t be so quick to say all natural is the only and the best way, it doesn’t work that way for everyone.
    For the record, my mom had 5 all natural births, and my sister and I were expecting the same.
    Healthy mommy and healthy baby are the ONLY thing that really, really matters.

    1. Caroline, NO WHERE in this article does it state that “all natural is the only and best way.” I don’t know where that idea came from…author’s words exactly…”Sure, there are times when a healthcare provider needs to assist or assess, but this is rare and should always be done with the mother’s consent.” Sounds like you had a terrible experience, and that is something I am sorry you had to experience…many mothers allow the pressure of their perfect birthing plan to cause such upset when things don’t turn out as they hoped. This doesn’t mean what this doula is professing is in any way wrong. She acknowledged the need for appropriate intervention from time to time. Unfortunately, too often, women accept intervention for any no-good reason a doctor throws out without question…and that’s the sad truth that this doula is trying to educate women about…not to make you feel angry about your troubled delivery, as well as your sister’s…you decide how to handle your circumstances; others may influence, but you own your feelings.

    2. Caroline,

      I am so sorry that the experience from your birth community contributed to having negative feelings about your birth and made postpartum more difficult for you. I hope you have found support, nurture and safety in other places in your community. Birth matters – not just a healthy baby. So feeling let down, disappointed, etc after a birth that didn’t go as you dreamt is absolutely normal and a good doula, as mentioned, can help you process your birth and make referrals to others in your community that can continue the support from there. There is no judgement in birth – there’s just no room for that. It sounds like you were really well prepared, but were dealt some wild cards and you had lined up a great team to help you play those cards. I can’t comment anything about Bradley, as I have never taken the course, but I teach Birth Boot Camp and we spend an entire class focusing on wild cards, cesareans, VBAC, etc. I will not say that my students are not disappointed when their birth does not unfold the way they would have liked, but I do hope they are well equipped with referrals and community by the time they leave my class; and I would have failed them if they felt any judgement from me – and really, that goes for any of my birth clients as well.

      I am a mother of two tongue-tie babies as well. Nursing with a severe tongue tie is the most difficult thing I have done. Nothing but support for you here – and I hope we see the cause for the rise in tongue ties soon.

      I am terribly sorry about your sister and her baby. Pregnancy and birth are not without risks and they are heartbreaking. Her experience, however terrifying and horrific, does not devalue yours.

      In the case that you would like the opportunity to process your birth experience, your experience with your community following your birth, your first postpartum year, and/or the loss of your sister’s baby, I really encourage you to reach out to a professional in your area. A great way to start is by contacting Postpartum Support International (postpartum.net).

      Love, warmth and healing to you and your sister.

    3. Caroline, I am truly sorry to hear about your birthing experience and the loss you and your family had to deal with during the Holidays. I think Amanda was right on point with her explanation. I am a Bradley Method teacher and I spend time going over the variables and complications during labor (Class 7 and 8 and 9) my couples leave with a solid footing to know when the labor may begin to take a different turn. We spend 3 months with our couples and have to have a vast resource list to complete certification. If you disclosed you have Crohns, she should have checked in the teacher resources to gather nutrition alternatives and possible birth complications to supplement your personal learning. I would visit the Bradleybirth.com website and click on “your Bradley birth” under student resources to notify the Academy of your experience. I’m sorry you felt pressured into having a natural birth, in class 7 (Birthing Ideals) your instructor should have spent much time with the priority cards and given examples of when intervention/medication would be a benefit. As a doula I share general information on how labor unfolds and the differences between mental or a physical interference. I think it is unfair to name a birth class as the “reason why” things went amiss. Please report this teacher if he/she gave you medical advice, or did not teach using the Bradley workbook that has specific sections about complications/variations Section birthing and postpartum support. As a teacher we teach that whatever you choose is perfect as long as you are informed in the pros and cons. In fact it is written in the introduction that not the teacher, doctor or hospital should make birthing or parenting decisions for you. I have had couples have an emergency section, (even one who chose to have a planned section) thank me every time because they were prepared and knew that they tried plans A-Y and made it to Z without any birthing guilt. Again please share your birthing experience with the Academy. I wish you Peace and Healing and would also suggest if you were to need a birthing class in the future check out (Birthing Without Fear) they have a great birth trauma healing section.

    4. Healthy baby is NOT the only thing that really matters, healthy (and living) mothers matter too. It’s really weird to me how obsessed our society is with this idea that it doesn’t matter of women are abused, assaulted or even killed by incompetent or sadistic care providers. It does matter, and I for one will *never* say that it’s okay to treat women like that. I feel so badly for our daughters who are raised believing that ultimately their only worth is to birth a healthy baby. We are so brainwashed and oppressed. I am very sorry for all the babies that have died AND I’m very sorry for all the mothers that have died and been abused. There is no conflict between babies and the mothers who are
      Birthing them, they can both matter, kind of like when you have more than one child and as it turns out you can love them both enormously without having to say one is more important than the other. It isn’t a contest.

      As for the content of the article, I totally agree. My first birth was a typical hospital birth with all the abuse and non consent you’d normally expect in our society and the resulting danger and trauma to mother and baby. My second birth was totally unassisted, not one “check” during the whole pregnancy or birth. Guess which one produced the healthier and happier baby/mama team? The unassisted one of course. No checks also ensures that you aren’t put on a ridiculous clock where they’ll try to cut you for not dilating fast enough at 1 cm per hour (this happened to me with #1, thank God I refused that c section for 8+ hours)!!

  3. Caroline, NO WHERE in this article does it state that “all natural is the only and best way.” I don’t know where that idea came from…author’s words exactly…”Sure, there are times when a healthcare provider needs to assist or assess, but this is rare and should always be done with the mother’s consent.” Sounds like you had a terrible experience, and that is something I am sorry you had to experience…many mothers allow the pressure of their perfect birthing plan to cause such upset when things don’t turn out as they hoped. This doesn’t mean what this doula is professing is in any way wrong. She acknowledged the need for appropriate intervention from time to time. Unfortunately, too often, women accept intervention for any no-good reason a doctor throws out without question…and that’s the sad truth that this doula is trying to educate women about…not to make you feel angry about your troubled delivery, as well as your sister’s…you decide how to handle your circumstances; others may influence, but you own your feelings.

  4. Just another quick comment regarding using a doula. If a doula were present (I can safely assume at least if this particular doula in the article was) during the births of either baby there would have been no judgment against you and you would have benefited from years of assessment and evaluation along with an advocate that is solely in your best interest. That is the whole sole reason to have a doula. They are your advocate first and always. They aren’t the nurse assigned to you with a whole other set of patients or a doctor who maybe has other ideas about how fast you should get “done and over with” your birthing. The major point she made in the article though is if everything is progressing without issues the labial tissue is doing what it’s supposed to by protecting you and your baby. At no time should you feel pressured for unnecessary interventions. A doula would also have only you in mind and would focus solely on you and your wishes and health. The added ability to make sure your birthing continues to be safe regardless of where your doctor or nurse are is priceless. Depending on the doula you may have even had the post-pardum care you so desperately needed. These are just a couple reasons and is not a complete list nor does it represent all of the potential aid a doula can be. I am very sorry for your sisters loss and also for the trauma both you and she have been though. Bless you and your family as you go forward.

  5. I sure wish I had know about doulas 20 yrs ago. I think this is amazing! When your in a hospital birth, a lot of time you have no voice! The Dr. Comes in…sometimes it’s not even your Dr but his associate and they just place you where they want you. Both of my sons were at a teaching hospital so I was on display BIG time. My uterus was deformed, no one figured that out before 22/19 hours of hard induced labor? More than once? My second son had an unknown twin that died durn pregnancy and I was a brittle dialectic during my second son. Now I think a doula would have not only helped me with the diabeties but maybe she would have known that I was being abused also. They are just so much more involved and totally ON YOUR SIDE. No one else’s. I will surely be telling my future daughter-in- laws to consider this route. There always needs to be a plan B also, intentions for natural birth just can be carried out each time, it’s sad but emergencies just can’t be helped. Both of mine were c-sections which was beyond control but not being on dysplay would have Been awesome

  6. As a L&D nurse for almost 30 yrs, I hate to say it, but I have not met a Doula that I would give 2cents for!
    They interfere with the care of the pt. They are royal PITA’s ! I always explain why I need to do what I do & get the mom’s consent. Not every place “Puts on a Broadway Show”!! This article really puts a bad light on L&D nurses that are there to do everything they can to ensure a healthy mom & baby. Most of us are mom’s ourselves, we want the experience to be special for you & help you do it ” your way”. Don’t come in & tell us how to do OUR jobs !!!

    1. Hi Jeannie,
      You tell ’em! I do agree with part of message … Keep hands out of vagina, this is major cause of labial swelling.

    2. Can I ask what the point of showing this particular picture is. Are you trying to say that the nurses in this picture are doing something wrong? Did you have consent from them to post this picture and Is there a reason the patient is on her side. For instance is the baby in distress?

  7. As a labor and delivery nurse my number one goal is the patient. In fact, every RN that I work with loves their job and advocates for the patient in every situation. We are moms. We have been patients. Many of us have delivered naturally. Some even at home. The ‘parting the waters’ can also be referred to as ‘stretching the perineum’ which we have learned can prevent lacerations. No, it may not be necessary, but it doesn’t cause harm. And mom always has a right to refuse. And, I’m hoping that you had permission to post a picture of this poor nurse. She appears to be looking at the monitor and the patient is on her side, so that baby is possibly in distress, which would explain the reason the nurse has her hands ‘in her vagina.’ Checking her cervix or doing scalp stimulation could be reasons for that. Please realize that all hospitals, nurses, and doctors are not here to ruin mom’s experiences. Our goal is a healthy baby and a healthy mom.

  8. The phrase ” having nearly two entire hands pushed into your vagina” is so grossly overstated and must terrify women who read this. As a nurse-midwife, people often remark about having a whole hand up their vagina when in reality it is two fingers. I reassure them and explain my process and talk to them step by step as I do a vaginal exam or at times do some perineal massage with one or two fingers that stretches the skin and often times helps guide the pushing stage. Most women do not mind the perineal massage and many find it helpful. I do not do it if it the mother does not like it. I have NEVER thought of someone’s vagina as a Broadway stage, never! Commenting on the progress of someone’s second stage by describing what one sees is meant to encourage not entertain and reinforce the push that brings progress. Statements like yours do not reflect reality and only serve to cause distrust and fear. I tend to individualize care. Some women have entirely spontaneous pushing stages, some women have a very hard time working with the pushing, some women seem to never get an urge to push.

    Anyway my point is to use truthful words not exaggerated ones…….have you ever really seen two entire hands pushed up some one’s vagina? Really?

  9. I really have to ask what the true purpose of this blog is.The exaggerated statements appear to instill fear and distrust in traditional care givers and promote the services of the author and ” board members”. How sad it is that some women feel compelled to manipulate facts in order to serve their own agendas.

  10. Yikes, what procedures specifically is this referring to? Why would a woman or her support person allow that? I’ve given birth 4 times, including 2 far-too-invasive hospital births and never experienced this. Too many dilation exams, definitely. Some exterm jnal perineal support during pushing that was somewhat helpful. But I am genuinely wondering what this is referring to so I can be more aware?

    1. In the area I work in as a doula, I have seen time and again where a Dr. or a nurse will insert two fingers from each hand and pull and stretch the perineum. I have seen this happen for over two hours straight of pushing more than once. I have watched as a woman’s tissues have swollen and in at least one case tore and the head wasn’t even on the perineum yet. I saw the tear happen, and the Dr. looked up and saw that I saw it. We have encouraged mom’s to ask for less or no ‘ironing’ of the perineum/perineal massage, but when it comes down to it, they seem to have very little control over what specifically happens when the Dr. starts pulling on the perineal tissues in an effort to ‘help’ smooth the way for the birth. Almost all of the mom’s I work with end up with a perineal tear, and it is difficult to know exactly what to say and do to help them avoid it. I have had mom’s birth on their side, it doesn’t necessarily mean the baby was in distress, it is just another birth position some women find works for them.

  11. I do agree that epidurals can make a woman more vulnerable to roughness, episiotomy and unecessary exams, though…gotta speak up for yourself and a good doula can help!

  12. I have had to take a couple days to think about how to respond to this article as the first time I read it it upset me so much. First of all, I am so pleased you finally took down the first picture that was posted with this article as it was so inappropriate. So thank you for fixing that and please think twice the next time you post pictures of nurses doing their jobs and paint them in a bad light. Every patient I care for I treat as if they were my sister, cousin, or best friend. I take my job very seriously and so does every other nurse I work with. Secondly, never have I ever in my labor and delivery experience thought of a delivery as a Broadway show nor have I ever reduced a woman’s anatomy to nicknames such as “curtains.” I think this analogy that is used in this article is demeaning to women and very unprofessional. I have devoted my life and my pocketbook to better educating myself to make sure I care for my patients the best way possible – that means I further my knowledge to provide the safest and best care for my patients on a regular basis. And I can honestly say that I have not met one person that I work with that doesn’t do the same… I can also say that I haven’t ever seen or done anything to anyone of my patients without their consent. That would be abuse. When caring for you I wouldn’t do anything to you that I would do to my sister, cousin or best friend. Everyone entering the hospital has rights that they are entitled to. And, having said that so does that unborn baby. Unfortunately, that unborn baby doesn’t have a voice. Most times the mothers are that baby’s voice and chose what is best for their baby. Sometimes, mom’s don’t know what is best for their baby; and, sometimes they don’t chose what is safest and healthiest for their babies as their own birth agendas get in the way. That’s where I come into play and where my job becomes sticky. It is my job to speak up for my other patient without a voice and make sure that that baby is brought into this world in the safest healthiest way possible. I get no joy out of intervening on your birth. In fact, it creates way more work for me. I would much rather have an intervention-less birth. They are beautiful. However, thank goodness we have the option of interventions to see what our babies are doing before they come into the world. Sometimes they need our help and those interventions allow them to tell us when they need help. Sometimes people forget the ultimate goal is a healthy mom and healthy baby and unfortunately have been told that our interventions are cruel and for our pleasure. Please know that all labor and delivery nurses, certified nurse midwives and physicians want in the end is a healthy mom and baby. We all have devoted our lives to make sure that happens for you – however it needs to happen and that makes for a beautiful birth experience.

  13. Tera, don’t forget your nurse is also someone that speaks up for you as well. Doulas are wonderful labor support, but your nurse is a strong and educated voice for you. Trust her and you will be well taken care of. 🙂

  14. @LNDN

    “Everyone entering the hospital has rights that they are entitled to. And, having said that so does that unborn baby. Unfortunately, that unborn baby doesn’t have a voice. Most times the mothers are that baby’s voice and chose what is best for their baby. Sometimes, mom’s don’t know what is best for their baby; and, sometimes they don’t chose what is safest and healthiest for their babies as their own birth agendas get in the way. That’s where I come into play and where my job becomes sticky. It is my job to speak up for my other patient without a voice and make sure that that baby is brought into this world in the safest healthiest way possible. ”

    Are you saying that it’s sometimes okay to override the mother if you think it’s necessary to advance the interests of your “other patient”? As someone with a background in ethics and also someone who was overriden (birth raped) during my first labour I have considered this line of argument a lot and I think it’s really difficult to defend. The issue is that you either have to say that it’s always ok to perform treatments against a persons will if it’s to protect another person who maybe can’t speak for themselves or you have to say that pregnant women have less rights than everyone else to refuse treatments. Imagine if you were a pediatric nurse and a small baby came in and needed an immediate bone marrow transplant. Imagine the mother was the only one there and was a certain match but was for whatever reason (ignorance, cruelty, religion, distrust, personal values, whatever) refusing the treatment. What interventions against her would you feel morally entitled to perform without her consent? Any? Pretend the baby is only a day old. Would you think it morally permissible to drug her and do what needs to be done to save the baby? Should hospitals be allowed to force treatments on people to save other people? Maybe only if the people needing saving can’t speak for themselves? Or, as I suspect, certain people (like yourself?) think it’s never ok to force treatments on anyone to save another except pregnant women. Don’t you see how this positions pregnant women as less human and less worthy of consideration? How it turns pregnant women into second class citizens – the *only* citizens who lack the right to medical self determination. You say your motives are good, and I believe you, but I would never want to be your patient.

    On a more personal note, during my first birth a nurse forced me to labour on my back with my knees pinned to my chest because she said it was “best for baby”. She treated me like a monster for refusing and basically accused me of putting my baby in mortal danger for not complying. So you see, nurses (and doctors) are only human and their opinions are only that and women have the right to make ALL DECISIONS about their bodies, even bad ones and even ones that put your “other patient” at risk. My second labour was unassisted and obviously didn’t have any of this nonsense. Either way, to sum it up, if you are saying what I think you are saying then you are really wrong and your argument is unsupportable when critically analyzed (or at least is fundamentally inconsistent with the assertion that pregnant women are full persons).

  15. @LNDN

    “Everyone entering the hospital has rights that they are entitled to. And, having said that so does that unborn baby. Unfortunately, that unborn baby doesn’t have a voice. Most times the mothers are that baby’s voice and chose what is best for their baby. Sometimes, mom’s don’t know what is best for their baby; and, sometimes they don’t chose what is safest and healthiest for their babies as their own birth agendas get in the way. That’s where I come into play and where my job becomes sticky. It is my job to speak up for my other patient without a voice and make sure that that baby is brought into this world in the safest healthiest way possible. ”

    Are you saying that it’s sometimes okay to override the mother if you think it’s necessary to advance the interests of your “other patient”? As someone with a background in ethics and also someone who was overriden (birth raped) during my first labour I have considered this line of argument a lot and I think it’s really difficult to defend. The issue is that you either have to say that it’s always ok to perform treatments against a persons will if it’s to protect another person who maybe can’t speak for themselves or you have to say that pregnant women have less rights than everyone else to refuse treatments. Imagine if you were a pediatric nurse and a small baby came in and needed an immediate bone marrow transplant. Imagine the mother was the only one there and was a certain match but was for whatever reason (ignorance, cruelty, religion, distrust, personal values, whatever) refusing the treatment. What interventions against her would you feel morally entitled to perform without her consent? Any? Pretend the baby is only a day old. Would you think it morally permissible to drug her and do what needs to be done to save the baby? Should hospitals be allowed to force treatments on people to save other people? Maybe only if the people needing saving can’t speak for themselves? Or, as I suspect, certain people (like yourself?) think it’s never ok to force treatments on anyone to save another except pregnant women. Don’t you see how this positions pregnant women as less human and less worthy of consideration? How it turns pregnant women into second class citizens – the *only* citizens who lack the right to medical self determination. You say your motives are good, and I believe you, but I would never want to be your patient.

    On a more personal note, during my first birth a nurse forced me to labour on my back with my knees pinned to my chest because she said it was “best for baby”. She treated me like a monster for refusing and basically accused me of putting my baby in mortal danger for not complying. So you see, nurses (and doctors) are only human and their opinions are only that and women have the right to make ALL DECISIONS about their bodies, even bad ones and even ones that put your “other patient” at risk. My second labour was unassisted and obviously didn’t have any of this nonsense. Either way, to sum it up, if you are saying what I think you are saying then you are really wrong and your argument is unsupportable when critically analyzed (or at least is fundamentally inconsistent with the assertion that pregnant women are full persons).

  16. Hypocritical! You people have made me Ill. physically and emotionally! Why? Because I was the nurse’s picture you used when this article first appeared. You don’t know me or have any idea of how I care for my patients.. You didn’t care that I have suffered with the fact that my face has been attached to your cruel words. I am a mother, I am a person. Why would you do this to me? For the shock value of the photo so people would read your article so you could make a buck? Do you know that’s illegal? I learned about this while at work, in the perinatal intensive care unit. I was so upset, I had to leave sick.. and it was my husbands birthday. You ruined it. I’m still sick. I’m not going to waste my time debating the horrible implications you made. My only response will be this. I could care less what you idiots think of me.. what I do care about are the pregnant mothers reading this crap. Ladies, go to an obstetrician you trust with your health and your babies health. I have 19 years experience and I’ve seen a lot. Sometimes emergency situations come up unexpectedly. I would do anything and everything to keep you and your baby safe. Trust in your physician and nurse is so important. I know that the birth of your child will be a forever memory. We love what we do and we are not there to “ruin” your experience. And yes you have the “right” to refuse. While I don’t want to be a fear monger, there can be times when swift interventions can save your baby’s life… cord prolapse, abruption, chorioamnionitis… non of those medical conditions are ever part of the plan but they happen. This web site is for profit. Again, Sarah and Amanda, you broke the law using my image to promote your wallet. What a mean and horrible thing to do to someone you don’t know.

    1. RE: Violatednurse-
      I can assure you that neither Amanda nor I chose the picture that was put with this article. I apologize profusely that this happened but I can honestly say that the image chosen was not one chosen by either of us. I try to be very careful about images used. So very sorry.

  17. First and foremost, I am so sorry for the loss and devastation that befalls some mothers and families. Nothing I say is intended to belittle their experience or loss. Birth is intended to be a natural process, designed by the Creator. Birth does not only produce a baby but “births” a mother. There are many complications in our modern system that were avoided historically because wise midwives and birth attendants knew so many tricks of the trade, if you will. Insurance and attorneys tie the hands of those working in a hospital setting. It is not right but it is the truth. A lot of the knowledge and wisdom of midwives has been lost and/or is completely disrespected in a hospital. Of course, there are a number of complications that would happen regardless. I cannot stress enough the value of a doula. My husband is a wonderful man but he is not capable of being my “doula.” I had the same doula with each of my 3 births. She was a godsend. There were multiple times in my birth experiences where I felt hopeless. With my 9#6 oz. boy, I was getting close to 10 cm and I had sat or stood through 20 plus hours of labor. I literally felt like my entire bottom was going to explode from the outrageous pressure of his head descending. My doula talked me through each contraction and prayed with me. My husband could not have understood my feelings at this point. A doctor would have been useless. My midwife stood silently by and let me work through this with my doula. Doulas most certainly reduce interventions and complications which most often arise from interventions. So YES, I agree, keep your hands out of my vagaina. The baby is coming, trust me.

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