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Friday
May212010

To MommaKT @ Nonsense!

From MommaKT's Nonsense! blog:

"'You buy the hospital ticket, you go for the hospital ride.' As much as I HATE that statement, I guess it's true." 

(My original re-post can be found here.)

I tried to leave a comment, but it won't let me leave one with my url and name. (It drives me bonkers when BlogSpot does that.)

So, MommaKT, here is my comment. Feel free to put it in your comment section:

I did not ever mean a woman is supposed to just lie back and take it... and said as much in the post. I absolutely acknowledge that many/most women have no choice but to be in the hospital, but by being there, you ARE accepting the hospital policies... and that if you want something different, you are in for a battle. Fighting is the last thing a woman should have to do in labor. It sucks, totally, but it's what needs to be done to get one's way for a natural birth.

The hospital isn't set up or ready for natural birth; it's a bizarre concept for them. Getting one is such a triumph that any story goes viral.

I'm sorry you hate the phrase. I wish it weren't true, believe me.

Reader Comments (6)

It's such a complicated tangle, isn't it?

In theory, you should be able to walk into the hospital, hand your birth plan over and be supported in your choices provided they are reasonable. Doctors may offer advice or suggestions and the patient should be free to agree to or refuse them.

I had a hospital VBAC like this in the (relatively) small hospital in Guernsey, UK. They knew I was serious about natural birth and gave me their 'home birth' room where I was free to move around and do what I liked. The only restriction I didn't like was that I couldn't have a waterbirth (but those were rare then anyway, let alone for VBAC).

They told me their recommendations, I politely refused those I didn't like and once they had my signature, they cheerfully supported my wishes for intermittent monitoring, a physiological third stage etc. etc.

The problems with US hospital care are so, so complicated. They're too big and have too many stakeholders so it has become a tangle of doctors being terrified of being sued, insurance companies trying to perfect their algorithms and staff trying to find the most convenient way to get them in, rack up a bill and get them out alive. Patient choice, a woman's right over her body and informed consent get lost in the mix.

I was absolutely horrified that women get cervical sweeps from their OB under the guise of an 'uncomfortable examination.' Informed consent goes out the window.

Most women won't sue for an unhappy or scary birth experience. They'll generally only sue for serious injury or death. A caesarean is an indication that the doctors 'did something' and is therefore a good legal defense. Watching and waiting is considered negligence. Better to act, even when that action might be harmful. It's a shame that there aren't lawsuits for unnecessary intervention, but it's hard to prove psychological or physical harm when you 'have a healthy baby' because that appears to be all that matters to ACOG.

May 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatharyne

Barb,
I have had three natural hospital births. Twice, I had the OBs bring in their colleagues to seriously shake my hand and to "meet" me. I have had nurses come and go in my room to "See" the natural mom. LOL
i didn't realize until I had my babies in the hospital like that...that natural birth in the hospital was so rare and so unheard of. In a way it is very sad to me that this is what our society's "norm" is like. But I was also very happy to be that one that they could also learn from.

May 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

I, too, had nurses coming and going to "see" the woman who gave birth without an epidural. (I wouldn't say I had a natural birth - nothing natural about that much pitocin.) And it makes me kind of sad that it's that unusual.

As someone who very much did not want a hospital birth, I bristled a bit the first time I read "buy the hospital ticket, get the hospital ride." But stepping back from the emotion of it, I went along with a whole lot of stuff I would have rather done without and that certainly was not in my plan - AROM (though it was in a last ditch, unsuccessful attempt to start labor without pitocin), continuous monitoring, hep lock (which of course, I ended up using once we went with pitocin), wearing the gown, only clear fluids (water, broth, popsicle - no real food), etc. I see that as the point - that there are things that hospitals do, and trying to get them to make an exception for you will result in you wasting your energy and antagonizing the staff, who you need on your side. So if you're in the hospital, try to focus on your real priorities (for me, it was maintaining my mobility, and I did, and I think that's why I got through it without an epidural and it might even be why I got through it without a c-section), and let the other stuff go.

It also really helped that I had a great CNM and a great nurse who encouraged and respected me. "Taking the hospital ride" SHOULD NOT mean being disrespected and abused.

May 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchingona

Reading this, I am soooo glad that I have had a great hospital experience with my second baby. During my first birth, I had an epidural, but had a vaginal birth without intervention (IV, no pit except after delivery for bleeding). With my second baby, I did not want the epidural, and I hired a doula to make sure that I had enough support to avoid it. I was the only patient in LD at the time, and had the nurses with me the whole time, as well as my midwife and doula, and my husband. Because they couldn't get a good strip on my son, they actually sat and held the monitor to my belly intermittently. I wanted to go to the waterbirth room, but my little one came fast and we never got a chance to get to that room (I would have given birth in the hallway on the way there!). They let me hold him and nurse him before they examined him, never any pressure to take him away. I was allowed to eat and drink what I wanted although I ended up only drinking water. I tried to drink some grape juice, but it was so sweet to me at the time that I couldn't stomach it. I wasn't hungry, but I knew from a friend that I would have been allowed to eat. This hospital only delivers about 300 babies a year, so it is a tiny community hospital that prides itself on its stance with natural births. My only gripe with them is that they still give away the formula gift bags, albeit one for nursing mothers that not-so-surprisingly had nothing to do with nursing at all. I would like to write to them and encourage them to go for baby-friendly status and drop those stupid gift bags. But I know I am so blessed to have a hospital like this near me. I want to become a nurse in the near future (a total career change for me), because of the care I experienced there. Of course, I would want to only work there, LOL. If anyone is interested, its Elmer Hospital in Elmer, NJ. They don't do VBACs because there is no anesthesiologist on staff 24 hours. Their sister hospital South Jersey Healthcare-Regional Medical Center in Vineland, NJ offers them. I don't remember c/s stats offhand, but I did look them up a while ago, and its relatively low for the area. Just thought I would share my experience if there are any moms out there in the southern NJ area looking for a great place to give birth. Jen

May 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen B

I did a little happy dance when I saw my name. Really, I did!

I hate the phrase because it's true.

My very last nurse, right before discharge, came into my room and asked to check my epidural site. When I told her that there wasn't one, she lifted up my shirt to check my cesarean stitches. And this is the most Momma-Baby friendly hospital in our area. Nice, eh?

I guess when I read the original post, it got me all pissy about being robbed of what I wanted to experience. ;) I'm pretty sure that I bitched at my husband for it later, too. Next baby? Born at home. FOR SURE.

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMommaKT

Let me start this by saying I'm a doula in NYC for almost two decades Bradley trained CBE, and LC. And some one who marches in the streets to create change!
I'm starting to believe strongly we, me, us, you the labor doulas, DONA are becoming part of the problem in some weird twist of fate?

If women could not hire "doula" to help them the way they used to create change is for women to revolt, and now how they revolt is by just hiring a doula to accompany you to the birth in a hospital to try not to get the standard ride at the hospital!


If these same motivated to have a natural child birth women did not have Doulas they would be screaming in the streets, women would be protesting and creating a revolution as they did to make sure their partners could be with them in L&D in the 1960's and the "natural birth movement". The same population who hire doulas, would be working to change what is going on in hosptials.

Now, women are retreating to hiring labor doulas and it just gets worse and worse as the years pass, hospitals creating more restrictive manged birthing policies.

SO I wonder are we doulas becoming a crutch

How is it that the c/sec rate has doubled nationally since DONA inception!

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