Thursday, August 26, 2010
There Is A Reason People Hate Obstetricians
(Disclaimer- I fully realize that not all Obs are bad and that not all midwives are good. There are empathetic, kind , gentle, and totally fantastic medical doctors who catch babies. There are also rude med wives who muck with the natural process or who are just poorly trained. But the story below is very illustrative of a common trend I see repeated over and over.)
Picture a first time mother. She is receiving midwifery care through a local hospital, preparing for a natural birth, and all seems well.
Then, one day, while waiting in the office for her midwife to do her checkup, completely on accident an OB walks in and takes over the appointment. (Just a room mix up).
Mom's X is slightly elevated and her Y's are within normal but slightly low for her gestational age. But, because of the slightly elevated X and the slightly low end of Y she is labeled high risk. Massive constant testing ensues. The Doctor warns mom that she will be "allowed" to go to 40 weeks but not any further. She doesn't want anything horrid to happen to her baby does she?
I wish this was just a story I made up. But it isn't. This is true, and it happens every day. When I talk about women being prepared by their care providers for medical birth, induction, and c-section I am not kidding. This is how it happens.
What is particularly galling to me about this is that it was caused by a simple mistake. But what is particularly telling about it is that it shows the huge difference in care received from a medical doctor verses a midwife. The midwives were not concerned at all, not because they didn't care, but because they recognize that mom is fine and that every woman is different. They view birth and pregnancy as a process. The OB obviously views birth and pregnancy as a disease to be prevented and treated.
We must choose carefully. We must research. Most of all, we must find our voices and walk away from those that prepare us for bad births so that they can save us from ourselves and our pregnancy. We must remember that we choose what is "allowed".