ACOG Still Sucks

The road to hell is lined with the heads of card carrying members of
ACOG. Step softly, they often carry knifes.

They think they know what is best for you, and because they are doctors, they are used to being listened too.

I am happy today to hear the news that ACOG has made a new statement about VBAC. You can read the statement here. I know I sound negative about something that is actually WONDERFUL news for the VBACing natural childbirth community. It is just fantastic that ACOG is coming out in support of the relative safety of VBAC.

Despite how great this news is I simply can not bring myself to praise
ACOG. I am glad that they are finally admitting what many women have known for years now, that having a vaginal birth after a Cesarean birth is possible, doable and SAFE. From their statement:

Attempting a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is a safe and appropriate choice for most women who have had a prior cesarean delivery, including for some women who have had two previous cesareans, according to guidelines released today by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist."

Why can't I praise them? Because all the credit for this change of heart I believe has little to do with ACOG and their good intentions or feelings of love for women everywhere. I think it has much more to do with the recent realization they have come to that women simply will not put up with their restrictive VBAC crapola any more. (Yes, I just used crapola in a sentence.)

They realize that women are simply foregoing hospital births all together because women know that they can more easily have a
VBAC OUTSIDE of the hospital with a midwife than within one. They are starting to realize that women will no longer be scared into a birth that they do not want, that it not satisfying, and that requires increased recovery simply because they said that that was what we should do.

They (
ACOG) are starting to realize that women do not always like to take orders and be taken care of. We like to research, we like to make our own decisions, and we like to be active participants in the births of OUR children. Some women may believe their line of fear mongering bull, but not all of us.

So I am glad that ACOG has had a change of heart, that they recognize that the c-section rate is too high and that VBAC rates are too low. I am glad they are finally loosening their restrictions so that hopefully VBAC is more doable. But I don't really think they deserve any credit.

Who deserves the credit for this change? VBACing women do.

Instead of praising
ACOG for realizing that despite all the gobs of money they can make off of c-sections, their anti-evidence approach to VBAC is hurting them in the long run, I would like to praise all of the women out there who have fought for VBAC.

Thousands of women have fought,
bled and died for this change to come about. They have gone through the stigma of birthing at home in order to have a birth that they chose. They have been attended by supportive midwives. Some of them have birthed unassisted. Some of them have had hospital births in hostile environments where they were disrespected but in the process have shown hospital staff that VBAC is possible.

These are the women who deserve the praise for this recent statement.

ACOG. To ACOG I want to say this:

What can you do for all of those women who were denied
VBAC because of you? Can you remove their scars? Can you remove their fears? Can you give them their births back? Can you change what you have already done?

You can do none of these things. Thousands if not hundreds of thousands of women have already suffered at your hands. Many more will because of the refusal of many
OB's within your community to even acknowledge these new recommendations. You can not fix the pain that you have caused.

Thank you
ACOG for changing your policy.

Shame on you for all of the bad births, scars, pain, depression and death that have come at your hands because of your unwillingness to do this sooner.


Laureen said…

Standing on my chair, cheering.

Follow the money, baby. And you're right, it's far too little, far too late.
January said…
Phenomenal post. I will be reposting this tomorrow!

I have had that crappy hospital VBAC that left me in just as much turmoil as my previous c-section and then I fought damn hard and after 4 births had a beautiful, peaceful birth (unassisted..thanks for the link). So, you are talking about me and every other woman like me. Thanks Sarah.
Mama Birth said…
Thanks ladies, just when I was running out of things to talk about.... they open their mouths again
January said…
hahahaha. I don't think you'll ever have things to talk about when it comes to birth.
roadrunner201 said…
This was so well said. From one Bradley teacher to another, thank you for posting on this super important topic.