I just LOVE the True Face of Birth blog. There’s always a gem of a post there that makes me smile, or think, or cry. I’m not a huge fan of regurgitating other bloggers’ posts, but I’d at least like to draw a few things out of a particular post that really spoke to me. My comments are sprinkled throughout.
A family practice doctor was in the audience of a “BOBB” screening. She sent an e-mail to Rixa sharing her thoughts on the movie:
I loved that the births were shown to unfold in their own time and that the mamas looked free to move on their own and birthed upright. I love that upright birth center birth where the mama is so joyous right after.
I cried at every one of those births. Don’t know what was up with that! My little dd even kept asking me if I was okay. (I cry a fair amount of the time at actual births, though, too–you’d think I’d get over it.) I think if people watched this movie and the only thing they took away was visions of women pushing their babies out standing, squatting, in the water, whatever, that would at least be a start. [bold emphasis mine]
I was disappointed in the ending. I don’t think they explained enough what was happening, and I was disappointed that the final interview blew off any benefits of homebirth and implied that it’s all nice if you can have it, but thank God we had this cesarean and saved my baby. I actually think in her particular case transferring for a breech, growth-restricted baby was probably a good idea–but there had to have been a better way to wrap up that movie than Abby saying “Oh well, at least I got a healthy baby” you know?
It was also discouraging, though, to hear how people struggle to get the birth they want. I am pretty disappointed in this whole VBAC thing, and disappointed especially that so many “low-risk” providers are just giving up VBACs and verbalizing that it’s just too bad, so sad for the women involved, but nothing we can do. [You and me both. I feel abandoned and betrayed by the medical community at large.]
I actually think all of medicine needs to be reworked.[emphasis mine] Something I was trying to say, and may not have got it out coherently at the panel discusson, is that having doctors in charge of medical care and responsible for the outcomes doesn’t benefit anybody. [Whoa! Again, this is coming from a DOCTOR. Wow!! I wonder how many other practitioners feel like that.]
I’m not sure how to make a change in modern obstetrics, but I think one factor is that women have to refuse to accept paternalistic, condescending care. I don’t care what kind of choices women make, but they need to insist on accurate information and fully informed decision making.OBs need to get out of the business of normal maternity care. We have put normal care into the hands of folks trained in the abnormal. [I couldn’t agree more. I wish obstetrics would accept its mandate as a surgical specialty. Practitioners trained in normal birth need to attend and assist low-risk moms, and that includes low-risk VBAC.]
I am so inspired by this care provider’s perspective. It gives me hope at a time when it is easy to despair given the challenges ahead for me in terms of maintaining a pregnancy and making L&D choices that will be best for me and my family.
Blessings to Rixa for her post and to this marvelous doctor.
Please visit Rixa’s blog and read the entire post!