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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all...<br><br>
Here's my confession. Please don't bash me.<br><br>
I don't care WHAT people do for their labor/delivery stuff, but it REALLY REALLY bothers me when they're not making informed decisions. I know I push too much to try and inform them. I expect I'm probably driving people away, although I don't know, really <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> Nothing obvious, so far, at least. For instance, I have a friend who is having a planned cesarean because her last baby was "too big" and her doctor said he "had to be" a cesarean. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: I just don't even know how not to get disgruntled that she's not even willing to look into other options. I don't know how to deal with MYSELF when someone tells me "my doctor told me so". My mouth just goes. I'm not rude or anything, but I start spouting off statistics. Ok, that might not even be true, but I *FEEL* like I NEED TO SHOUT STATISTICS TO THE WORLD... just so they're going in with a full understanding of the risk. Like I said, I don't care if she goes for the C once she knows the risk, but GEEZ. Why is "my doctor told me so" enough?<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Sorry. I needed to vent. Should "my doctor told me so" be enough? I guess we *are* paying these guys to inform us of what's best... right? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I guess this is one of those areas where I feel like the biggest freak of all. I no-poo my hair and feel fine about that, but this feeling of informed consent being NECESSARY (and so often not found) just makes me feel like the biggest weirdo out there <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:<br><br>
ETA... maybe this should go in personal growth? I dunno.
 

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i was the biggest loudmouth psycho breastfeeding activist ever until my son was like 4 years old, then i mellowed out a teeny bit because i no longer seemed to come into contact with new moms and everyone i met had kids who they either did or did not breastfeed but it was too late for me to motivate them to join my lactivist team! lol. i was so so upset everytime anything was said or done that wasnt pro breastfeeding and i felt so angry at the medical establishment which i believe, generally is set up to not help people do whats best for them and their kids but what is best for office hours and corporate medical interests. i think i needed all this inner turmoil and angst because it made me feel good in a way, i had knowledge and i felt powerful as a new, vulnerable mom to stand up for the things i believed in. now my son is 6 and a half and i no longer have quite as many moments where i get to share my "radical" views and statistics that i have memorized about breastfeeding but i am also pregnant and if i have the energy and time i probly will become re-obsessed with letting the world know that babies are born to be breastfed and that many doctors and some nurses and other hcps dont always know best.
 

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So imagine you're one of those women. You get pregnant, you talk to your sister and your mother and your best friend. You go to babycenter and chat with women who are due the same time as you, you read What to Expect, you watch every episode of A Baby Story. You ask your doctor as many questions as he'll tolerate during your prenatal visits, and you go to all the other above mentioned sources for any other questions you have. You even take the recommended childbirth classes that the hospital offers just for good measure, though you are a wealth of knowledge by this point. Though there is some differences of opinion in these sources, for the most part they all agree on one important point, which is; listen to your doctor. (These women are informing themselves and receiving an education, it just isn't the one you want them to receive.)<br><br>
But, then, one day you show up and start disagreeing with her doctor, which no one else has up to this point. In fact everyone has reiterated his supreme authority to her. She finds comfort and safety in his knowledge. You're shaking up that comfort, you're taking away that safety, she becomes unsettled, uncomfortable, she doesn't like this feeling. She looks at you and sees just a woman, not a licensed professional, not a medical doctor, just another women like herself and she lacks the faith in your opinions that it would take to spur her into any action. She also dislikes the unsettling feeling that comes along with considering your opinions, as it means that all the knowledge she gained up until this point is now in question. If she allows herself to listen to you, then she has to consider the possibility that she got wrong information, that she was mislead, or even lied to. She has to consider what the motivations would be for this, and she has to consider the possibility that instead of entering a safe haven on the day she gives birth, surrounded and supported by her medical helpers, she is now entering what you are implying is a hostile environment where she may need to come armed with an excessive amount of knowledge and fight for the birth she wants to have. What would you rather believe? That everyone is there to help and support you, or that everyone is pushing unneeded procedures on you to fulfill their own agenda? At this point she has the choice to believe one or the other reality, and I would find it shocking if any woman did believe someone like you considering what they are up against.
 

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Very interesting way to put it Jennica. It really makes you think about the other side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You're right. But I guess I usually just say something like "oh, did you consider a VBAC? There's a great book you should read..." and then tell them about The thinking woman's guide or Pushed or something. I don't usually really start spouting statistics, I guess. But how many women learn about this after they have the crappy hospital experience? I mean, I *was* one of those "educated" women who watched too many birth shows on TV and stuff. I was lucky enough to wonder why every woman "had to have" an epidural or why women sometimes turned it down in favor of "incredible pain"... so I ended up becoming a supporter of natural birth before my first was born. Then after the birth, I found MDC <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> and learned sooooo much more. But anyway, I guess I come from a completely different place - my curiosity gets the best of me and I *want* to know the "why" and "how" or statistical stuff. I guess I have a hard time understanding people who don't have that kind of interest and are happy to just be sheeple...? Something like that.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jennica</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11563907"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So imagine you're one of those women. You get pregnant, you talk to your sister and your mother and your best friend. You go to babycenter and chat with women who are due the same time as you, you read What to Expect, you watch every episode of A Baby Story. You ask your doctor as many questions as he'll tolerate during your prenatal visits, and you go to all the other above mentioned sources for any other questions you have. You even take the recommended childbirth classes that the hospital offers just for good measure, though you are a wealth of knowledge by this point. Though there is some differences of opinion in these sources, for the most part they all agree on one important point, which is; listen to your doctor. (These women are informing themselves and receiving an education, it just isn't the one you want them to receive.)<br><br>
But, then, one day you show up and start disagreeing with her doctor, which no one else has up to this point. In fact everyone has reiterated his supreme authority to her. She finds comfort and safety in his knowledge. You're shaking up that comfort, you're taking away that safety, she becomes unsettled, uncomfortable, she doesn't like this feeling. She looks at you and sees just a woman, not a licensed professional, not a medical doctor, just another women like herself and she lacks the faith in your opinions that it would take to spur her into any action. She also dislikes the unsettling feeling that comes along with considering your opinions, as it means that all the knowledge she gained up until this point is now in question. If she allows herself to listen to you, then she has to consider the possibility that she got wrong information, that she was mislead, or even lied to. She has to consider what the motivations would be for this, and she has to consider the possibility that instead of entering a safe haven on the day she gives birth, surrounded and supported by her medical helpers, she is now entering what you are implying is a hostile environment where she may need to come armed with an excessive amount of knowledge and fight for the birth she wants to have. What would you rather believe? That everyone is there to help and support you, or that everyone is pushing unneeded procedures on you to fulfill their own agenda? At this point she has the choice to believe one or the other reality, and I would find it shocking if any woman did believe someone like you considering what they are up against.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"><br><br>
What you just described was me for my first pregnancy and birth, right down to getting most of my info from my Babycenter birth board. I never had anyone IRL try to tell me otherwise but there were a few "renegades" on Babycenter who tried to warn everyone. I thought they were total psychos. It was not until after my horribly humiliating and awful birth (due prob 98% because of my lack of real education) that I started listening.
 

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I understand what you are saying, Juvysen. I feel totally the same way.<br><br>
Jennica, thank you for your post. Interesting perspective. I think that it should also be mentioned that in the scenario you posted, not only has this woman been "educated" in this way from the time she got pregnant, but more likely, her whole life. I know at least in my family, and in society as a whole, the "doctor knows best" from the time you are a small child. It doesn't just start with pregnancy. To call this fundamental "truth" into question brings up so many other questions.<br><br>
When i started to take Bradley classes, for instance, i was unsettled by the level of distrust that my teacher showed for the medical establishment. (She wasn't overt, btw, it was subtle things that i picked up on) It was surprising. The doctors are just trying to what was best for your and your baby, right? Well, now i understand that there is a huge conflict of interests in the birth industry and birth in America is largely fear of malpractice based. But at the time, it wasn't even on my radar.<br><br>
To me, it isn't about people choosing to be sheeple. <b>There can be no true choice in birth until alternative choices are seen as the valid and safe choices they are.</b> This huge birthing industry machine has convinced woman that birthing at home/with a midwife/delayed cord clamping/uninterrupted bonding/unmedicated birth/insert alternative choice here is unsafe or unwise, <i>even though evidence states otherwise</i>. How can you choose when you don't really even believe you have a choice?
 

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This is so hard for me too. I never know where the line is. I've gathered all this information to avoid repeating my previous birth experiences. One of the big things I learned is that a woman has to be comfortable to give birth.<br><br>
I learned I am not comfortable in a hospital. I don't trust anyone to make health choices for me. I never really did, I just wasn't as aware of my options before.<br><br>
Some women do, though. They're comforted that someone else has to worry about all that medical stuff. I don't feel I have the right to undermine their choices or upset the "nest" they've made for themselves to birth in (even if it's under the wing of some doctor who, in my opinion, will over manage her birth).<br><br>
At the same time I feel a responsiblity to other women to not let them go through what I did. I don't feel like obstetric practices will get any better if we all just sit on our hands and shut our mouths so as not to upset anyone.<br><br>
I want to spread information and not fear. It's difficult when I think the way things are commonly done in hospitals is scary.
 

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I just find it sad that most of the people we pay to give us good advice at such a time as this (when pg) have their own agenda in mind. We SHOULD be able to trust our doctors. But the more OBs I work with, the less I trust them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>milkydoula</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11564415"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">To me, it isn't about people choosing to be sheeple. <b>There can be no true choice in birth until alternative choices are seen as the valid and safe choices they are.</b> This huge birthing industry machine has convinced woman that birthing at home/with a midwife/delayed cord clamping/uninterrupted bonding/unmedicated birth/insert alternative choice here is unsafe or unwise, <i>even though evidence states otherwise</i>. How can you choose when you don't really even believe you have a choice?</div>
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This is so true. How do we do this? Doctors so have the monopoly on trust. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Shelsi</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11564370"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"><br><br>
What you just described was me for my first pregnancy and birth, right down to getting most of my info from my Babycenter birth board. I never had anyone IRL try to tell me otherwise but there were a few "renegades" on Babycenter who tried to warn everyone. I thought they were total psychos. It was not until after my horribly humiliating and awful birth (due prob 98% because of my lack of real education) that I started listening.</div>
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Yep, me too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> I was little bit of a renegade, or at least I thought I was. I didn't want an epidural and I wanted a CNM, but in a hospital of course! But, I trusted my care providers 100%, and I thought I was going to enter a safe haven with everyone supporting me. I got the complete opposite scenario. Anyway, one really traumatic birth later and I realized I needed to reeducate myself in a different way. But, the first time around I didn't know there was more to know, so how could I have possibly educated myself to have a better birth?
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>milkydoula</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11564415"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Jennica, thank you for your post. Interesting perspective. I think that it should also be mentioned that in the scenario you posted, not only has this woman been "educated" in this way from the time she got pregnant, but more likely, her whole life. I know at least in my family, and in society as a whole, the "doctor knows best" from the time you are a small child. It doesn't just start with pregnancy. To call this fundamental "truth" into question brings up so many other questions.</div>
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Exactly. The medias portrayal of birth, and any exposure to birth before these women's pregnancies has already taught them some fundamental truths that are going to be hard to challenge. In the process of them educating themselves, these beliefs are usually reinforced, and that makes them feel good like they are on the right track. Also, the doctor knows best mentality starts in childhood and is reinforced throughout life. These are beliefs buried deep within the psyche and challenging them is always uncomfortable.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>milkydoula</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11564415"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">To me, it isn't about people choosing to be sheeple. <b>There can be no true choice in birth until alternative choices are seen as the valid and safe choices they are.</b> This huge birthing industry machine has convinced woman that birthing at home/with a midwife/delayed cord clamping/uninterrupted bonding/unmedicated birth/insert alternative choice here is unsafe or unwise, <i>even though evidence states otherwise</i>. How can you choose when you don't really even believe you have a choice?</div>
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Yeah, it is not about choice or choosing one path over another. It's about not knowing there is another path. Being exposed to the other path is irrelevant, because if you hear 100 voices and 1 dissenting, you will assume that 1 voice is wrong or crazy or whatever. Especially if that 1 voice challenges your lifelong beliefs, and leaves you feeling upset. You may take this feeling as intuition that that 1 voice is wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I guess I wonder if it's even worth saying anything. I mean, what if the time I keep my mouth shut is the time it could have really changed someone's outcome? There *are* people like me out there whose curiosity would be peaked by someone suggesting that there are other ways ... right?
 

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I think we need more freaks like you! This is my first pregnancy, and I question EVERYTHING, even though my doctor is 100% cool and on my side, I just want to know what's going on and what alternatives there are.<br><br>
The Business of Being Born really opened my eyes, as well as Jennifer Block's Pushed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy">:
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Juvysen</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11566482"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I guess I wonder if it's even worth saying anything. I mean, what if the time I keep my mouth shut is the time it could have really changed someone's outcome? There *are* people like me out there whose curiosity would be peaked by someone suggesting that there are other ways ... right?</div>
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Of course you should say something! Just don't be discouraged, or assume that they are all "sheeple" who don't want to educate themselves, when they don't listen to you. I went through a stage where I was very aggressive about pushing my new birth beliefs, and this didn't work at all. Now I try to say things like, "well, when I was pregnant with ds, blah blah blah..." It seems to soften the message when I relate it to my own birth or pregnancy and when I'm speaking as just another mom and not some self proclaimed birth expert. However, I still come on too strong every now and then, it's hard not to once your eyes have been opened. I just try to not take it personally when they don't listen to me, and I try not to get frustrated with their attitude, and I try to think that something I've said made some kind of difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Bleh. I hate being constantly the freak. On everything, it seems. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:
 

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I think you should still speak up, but just be prepared that some people have longstanding beliefs about doctors and also some people are not going to react well to what you have to say. That's just the way it goes. Plus I wouldn't be overly forceful either. Remember that they have feelings too.<br><br>
I think my views about birth and parenting have taken a complete turn around since I became pregnant. I've been sort of exploring that change within me on my blog. Sometimes the reactions I get to the stuff I have to say really winds up hurting my feelings. I think what I've said has hurt a few feelings too, even though I didn't mean to.<br><br>
And you also have to keep in mind, as crazy as it might sound, that some people have had positive birth experiences in hospitals and great doctors that did listen, weren't intervention happy, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You're right. And some people love their epidurals. And I think that's fine. But I do think they should get the epidurals with fully informed consent ... you know "this has X% chance of causing drop in blood pressure that is potentially extremely harmful to your fetus, may cause problems with nursing relationship, etc etc." And I mean more than just signing a CYA sheet at the hospital. I mean a full discussion with full disclosure. But then, I think that about everything. Like I think there should be full disclosure before an abortion about things like increase in breast cancer risk, etc. Just so people can really weigh the pros and cons. You know? Same with buying a car, same with getting a vaccine, same with eating a non-organic potato LOL. I just think too many of us do things completely unmindfully - or ignorant - or by avoiding what they don't want to know. And I feel like if we all were a little more mindful about things this world would be a lot better. I mean, really, think how many lawsuits could be avoided if people took the initiative to make a real INFORMED consent. If you know the risks well and have decided to try for it anyway.... I dunno, maybe I'm just idealistic here.
 

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Wow! What a great thread. OP I so get where you're coming from. I am the exact same way. Actually I'm worse than you are. It really, really bothers me that HCPs don't provide their patients with full disclosure. They're required to, by law, but they don't even come close. In many cases I don't think the HCPs are fully informed themselves! And it just drives me nuts that people don't question what the "authority figures" say. That's me though and I know it. I've spent lots of time with my therapist working through my issues with authority figures <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Thanks to all of you who gave "the other point of view". I need to be reminded of where the other person is coming from. I totally agree with everything you've said about talking from a personal view point, sharing as much as I can and then realizing that some people just aren't going to listen. Its good to know I'm not the only one who feels I'm talking for no reason though. I guess we should each plant all the seeds we can. Hopefully what we say now may influence someone later on when their life experience gives them reason to re-evaluate.
 
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