12.12.2007

I couldn't agree more

Here is something I found on my friend's website and totally appreciated it.
I'm very thankful for Doctors and Nurses and what they do for us (especially in Labor and Delivery) but I couldn't agree more with this argument. Its all too true and I've experienced it first hand. Seems like our hospitals are in a big hurry to get you to A.) Schedule your birth as much as possible, so they can schedule their time around you B.) convincing mothers way too soon that they need to "give up" and opt for a C-Section and C.) Making you feel awkward for choosing to go natural.

I have friends that have been able to do that and have had a wonderful experience... but they're few and far between.
Anyway, watch this video, you'll enjoy it.

20 {comments}:

jillyco said...

I love this!!! And when those three young doctors (nurses? med students? whatever they were?) were asked how often they see a 'natural' birth, they said...rarely or never??? Wow!

I was blessed to have FOUR natural birth experiences! The only one I had pitocin with was Lizzy, and that was for a half hour. So, yes, it can be done! And it's gloriously painful! But thankfully I was never pressured into anything else. :) Have things changed that much in the past 6 years?

Thanks for posting this! Is this something that will be on TV at some point?

Stef said...

I think every hospital is for sure different, but yes... things probably have changed even in the past 6 years.

I just think its sad that women everywhere are listening to Doctors more than their own bodies. Birth is a natural part of life - why are we always trying to find short cuts and create problems that aren't there?

Erin said...

I'm so torn between the two sides on this. I think some people who are natural only advocates, aren't really honest about the fact that things can & do go wrong. Yes. Birth is natural. God made women for it. But, that doesn't mean their aren't dangers. So, that is why I do the hospital birth, & just have to put up with bossy, pushy nurses & all that jazz!

Stef said...

I think the stand I take (not being 100% sold on either) is that we need to stop allowing Doctors/Nurses to take charge and let our bodies do the talking. Obviously if something really goes wrong, no one is going to lay there and say "no, don't touch my baby", but lately I'm wondering how much of the stuff that goes "wrong" is really our bodies, or just a result of what the Doctors and Nurses are doing.
I definitely had that experience with Ethan's birth. With Rachel's, we just experienced very rude and bossy nurses, telling me exactly what I was going to do.

Kind of takes all the beauty out of birth. :)

Stef said...

Next time I have a baby I plan to be "that" lady they talk about for weeks later. Unfortunately they asked for it. :)

laura said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing this film.
Stef, we talked about this the other night, but it's completely true that doctors and nurses often don't respect their patients choice (or desire) to have a low-intervention birth. Nearly every day when I was working at the OB/GYN the nurses would pass around the birth plan of one of "those women" and gripe about how annoying it was to have to deal with women like that. Even during my own labor when I really needed a nurse or someone to keep telling me "You can do it!" My husband was the only one cheering me on, the nurse and even my doctor basically kept offering drugs and when Bruce tried to remind them that we wanted to go natural, my doctor totally bulldozed over him and said this is Laura's choice.

Jill I love that you say birth with pitocin in gloriously painful. I'm totally going to remember that next time. :-)

There are definitely cases where intervention is totally necessary in birth, but it's the unnecessary interventions and the unwillingness to let nature take it's course (during a healthy delivery - not one with obvious complications) that bothers me.

The title of the documentary says it all - birthing IS a business, especially to hospitals and doctors.

Stef said...

ditto to Laura's comment ;-)

Gina said...

I haven't been able to see this documentary yet, but my doula friends who have seen it rave about it. It's one of many very telling films made in the last couple of years. Of course, I could speak volumes on the differences between birthing in a hosptial setting with interventions vs. having a truly natural birth, but in short, those of us who choose to do it natural are very informed and are not taking any unnecessary risk. There is actually more risk in a hosptial birth than in a homebirth. Those of us who choose to birth out of hosptial are well educated, we know how to tend to ourselves and how to prepare for birth, and in most cases, homebirths are attended by well educated and very experienced people who know how to handle complications, deviations, and know when to call for a transfer. Those of us who choose out of hosptial birth don't seek risk, but seek to lower our risks by having a more hands-off delivery without arbitrarily imposed time limits, and without unnecessary drugs. We realize that "things" can occur, but educate ourselves about what really needs intervention and what does not and then make plan B, just in case. Birth should be about the baby's journey into the outside world, and mom who participates in that journey, not about accomodating the doctor's recreational schedule or the nurse's overloaded list of responsibilties. In general, people put more consideration into what car they will be buying, where to buy it, and how to finance it than they do into where, how, and with whom they will birth. It's truly a travesty--a tide I'd love to see turn. Birth is safe, Intervention is Risky. Trust Birth. And make informed chioces. Ok, I'm done for now. :-)

Trish Thomas said...

I've had different experiences with each baby, but I do know that the pressure to just get the birthing over was there with all four.
I think much of the problem comes from women who just want to get the pain part over with and they miss the beauty and thrill of going through the whole birth naturally and patiently. Nurses and doctors often don't help. Sad.
Hopefully this film will do some good!

Stef said...

I love deep conversations like this. Thankfully my stroller post didn't get this much attention or I'd worry. ;)

I think, as in most "arguments/debates, what have you... the main point that's being made here is that none of us think its wrong to have your babies in a hospital. I don't even think its "wrong" to use drug intervention! I used an epidural with Ethan and I do believe its the only thing that allowed me to deliver him naturally. Before that epidural my pelvic bones would not budge. My Mom had this same problem with her body, back in 1978 and 1980 and she ended up having C-Sections. Her Dr. even gave her an x-ray while she was in labor with Trisha... down in her pelvic area! How dangerous does that sound?! I've often wondered if this was the cause of Trisha having the hole in her heart; esp. since it wasn't detected until she was a month old and that is extremely rare when the hole has been there since the beginning of conception.

I do wonder, however, if the Dr would have let me get out of the bed and do some squats, walk around, etc... maybe the bones would have done what they needed to and I wouldn't have had to have the dangerous (and expensive) epidural. It didn't kill me, but did leave me with a permanent sore spot in my lower back. When I complained about 3 months ago to my Dr. she said "Oh, did you have an epidural with either one of your kids?" I said yes and she said "Yeah... they don't always tell you this, but it often leaves you with some sort of permanent ailment like that."

Nice.

I have to say... Gina, I love how you wrote "in short" and then left that long comment! You reminded me so much of me there! :)

Again, thanks for all the weighing in ladies. I've loved reading all your comments.

Stef said...

Maybe if enough of us stop allowing the hospitals to be so hands on when they don't need to, we can change things and make a wonderful difference!
I'm aiming for a natural water birth next time and I'm so excited about it!

Stef said...

This comment is from Krista... I published it much earlier today and then it went up on the site... then around 11pm tonight, I got an email asking to publish it yet again and I thought it was a mistake, so I deleted it, not knowing I deleted BOTH comments. Hope that makes sense. Anyway, I can't re-publish the original, but I can always cut and paste. Ahhh, old school.
So the comment you read below my LONG story is from Krista. Sorry Krista!

--------
I have to jump in with my 2 cents. :) I had a completely natural birth with Elijah, and it actually was gloriously painful! I was blessed to have a nurse who had been in the business for 25 years and had much experience with natural birth. My doctors were not so supportive, so I was thankful for the current trend in lack of time spent with doctor/person in labor. :) They came in and made negative comments, saying I needed pitocin, but I just said no while in the middle of a contraction so that I looked extra determined and angry.

That being said, I know lots of people who have had some sort of 'intervention' be it pitocin, an epideral, etc. And they too have been able to enjoy the miracle of birth. I think there are downsides to all of those things, but sometimes the pluses outway the downsides.

And yes, it has become quite the business and Stef is right that they push you to make it go quicker somehow. I was dilated to 8 when the Doctor came in and told me "things are not progressing as fast as I'd like, we will probably need to give you pitocin". Turns out she was off her shift in 10 minutes, and told me that if I wanted her to deliver Elijah that I would need pitocin. So I said "thanks, but I'll see you later". Ha!

Gina said...

Interventions will persist at higher rates until women realize that they have choices and that they have to really speak up in order to have those choices honored. There are those women who really like the drugs and could care less about the interventions performed on them as long as they get the baby out--to each thier own. But as for those women who didn't realize there was another way, the doctors and nurses do them and thier babies a great injustice by pushing interventions on them just to "speed things along". All the measurements that doctors use to measure progress are based on arbitrary numbers, even fetal monitors have not been proven effective, so what is normal for one woman/baby pair is bound to be different than the next. There are many variances of normal, but doctors don't know how to deal with normal, they are trained for complications. The tides have turned away from natural birth (no drugs, no interventions) so much that it will take a great widespread movement of women demanding more birth freedoms--even as basic as being able to get up out of bed to push--before things will change--if they *can* change. At this rate, it's questionable if we *can* turn the tide. C-section rates are up to an astonishing 31.1%--WAY above the recommended 10-15%. Premature births and complications have risen dramatically (largely due to induction) and with it mortality and morbidity rates for both mom and baby so that the US ramks lower than many third world countries--now *that* is *wrong*! With all of our technology we have lost our senses and the very heart of America--the families are suffering for it. Women who are choosing to look into the birth industry more are learning that much of what they and their babies went through was unnecessary--what a shame. Thankfully, there *is* another way, at least here in CA (not all states are created equal in midwifery law). For all of you hospital birthers who think I'm risking it by birthing out of hosptial, all I have to say is, I think you are the brave ones!

Erin said...

Gina, I hope my comment didn't offend you (being that no one else's comments could be remotely construed as anti-home birth). I most definitely didn't mean that home birthers are usually uninformed or foolish. People make choices - & both have risks & pros & cons. I am not totally anti home birth. That is why I said I am "so torn". I actually was under the care of a midwife, planning a home birth with my first child. And yes, this midwife is very experienced & well educated. She has been delivering babies since before I was born, & has in fact delivered a good number of the people I know in this county! But, when complications arose (I was having hemorrhage quantity bleeding, for unknown reasons) I realized that a better choice for me, would be to deliver in a hospital, in case of tremendous blood loss. There are many women who deliver under a doctor's care & in a hospital, who are also well informed & educated & prepared for birth. (Some of these very women have been commenting on this post!) They are well equipped to reject unnecessary interventions & drugs, even at a hospital. I think all of us believe that hospitals & home can both be a wonderful place to give birth!

Gina said...

Erin, I wasn't offended at all. I understand that there are some complications that can arrise, like for you, where it is best to transfer care or even just begin care with an OB. But the truth of the matter is, most women, most pregnancies *are* low risk. I just wanted to make sure to point out a few factors related to homebirth that most people are not aware of, or think they know, but they are not truly informed. There's so much about birth to be learned, pretty much *every* mom can learn *something* from and for each birth she has. Hospitals are just *so* pushy, and for all of the wrong reasons. Even the most prepared moms/couples tend to cave on things (big or small) and those things can change the course of a birth tremendously. Birth *can* be natural and beautiful in a hospital, but the couple has to work hard for it. For me, personally, I choose to avoid the extra stress and do it out of hosptial. Each couple has to decide what they can handle best. My "mission" of sorts, is to help people know what choices they *really* have--not just what the OBs say--so they can have a birth they remember fondly and give thier babies the gentlest start possible--wherever they choose.

Danielle said...

Soooo, I have so much to say about this, and I really enjoyed reading all of your well-spoken comments. As a woman who will be delivering babies in the future, I am as saddened and frustrated with the entire birthing industry as all of you are. By the way, I'm pretty sure those young women in the video were OB/GYN residents. Scary.

A few things first, Stef, I'm certain that the pelvic x-ray your mom had during delivery did not cause the hole in Trish's heart as radiation has the risk of causing DNA damage but not structural damage to tissues. It is however, always a good idea to cover your ovaries when being x-rayed--keep those eggs safe!

OK, back to the good stuff...ah, I don't even know where to begin. The whole system needs to be overhauled, and we women, mothers, future mothers and husbands/fathers need to stand up for ourselves, because it is up to us, as patients, consumers of obstetric services, to demand a quality product. Birthing IS a business, and instead of demonizing that idea, we can realize the amazing potential here to put market pressure on the industry. You can't blame the horribly over-worked, sleep-deprived OB for wanting to go home at the end of her shift. Does that mean we have to succumb to an unnecessary (and expensive) c-section or have pitocin pushed on us? No. I used to think that I wanted to have elective Ceasareans because I thought it would be "easier." Well that was until I saw one. It wasn't even in person, it was actually an educational video on YouTube, but it was psychologically scarring. I will never give a woman a Ceasarean unless I absolutely have to. After seeing that I wanted to give birth at home, just to keep the doctors away. Despite talk about patient autonomy and respect, doctors (and some nurses) are generally arrogant, paternalistic and jaded about patient care. I'm still in that part of my training where I am idealistic--I haven't done any of my clinical training yet. It's so sad how medical students come in because we "want to help people" and after four years the training process turns medical students into jerks who have no respect for their patients. Doctors SHOULD treat their patients like customers and at the very least like autonomous human beings. The attitudes that I have heard/seen in medical school make me feel that I would lose control over my medical decisions by giving birth in a hospital. I am amazed by the progress that has been made in medicine to reduce morbidity and mortality and overall pain and discomfort on the birthing process. But do we have to give up all of our rights to autonomy in order to have the pain relief of an epidural? Doctors are not making choices that are cost-conscious or patient-conscious because they really don't have to.

I want to see a hybrid between home and hospital birth. I think it is completely reasonable to envision a birthing center where women can have the best of both worlds. Maybe this is my new mission in life? I am shadowing in labor & delivery for the first time on Saturday, I can't wait to see how it goes. Thanks, Stef. Great post!

Stef said...

Hey Danielle - you weren't kidding when you told me you "wrote a novel" on my website. :) I loved your comments and its awesome hearing this insight from someone in your field of work.
Thanks for stopping by!

Gina said...

Well said Danielle! And best of luck with the rest of your training. I have met a few people who have been able to keep thier compassion through it all, I hope you find yourself in that group. :-) There *is* a hybrid, like you spoke of, well, there used to be. There *may* be one or two left, but this one was famous for it's care. In NY there was a hosptial affilitated, but staged on separate property, birthing center that was run by midwives and backed by OBs. It was a wonderful model of care in that the moms were able to have a homebirth setting, but they were very near back up care, just in case. The whole insurance liability and funding issues did it in a couple of years ago--much to the dismay of thousands who *really* tried to find a way to save it. Our litigious society has closed up *so* many options! BUT--it IS possible to have a hybrid, you just have to have the right location and the right people, the clients would come! If you ever choose to start one up, pass on the info. I know lots of women who are always looking for good options! :-)

danielle said...

I find it hard to believe, with all the interest, that this has not been done successfully before. It is good to know that someone tried, but I really think that it has to be primarily OBs who believe in the value of patient autonomy first and foremost while offering a broad range of options both natural and technologically advanced that can be tailored to each patient. I am beginning to believe that this is something that can really happen!

Stef said...

so funny... my friend has had this same video posted on her blog and not one comment was made. I guess she needs more "mommy" friends in her life. :)

thanks for ALL these comments! I've enjoyed reading them and reading them to Jason too... we're learning lots of new things together and very excited about what it will mean for us in the future!

 

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