The Doctors

This Monday, a talkshow, The Doctors, had Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein (made The Business of Being Born and their new book, Your Best Birth, to discuss home birth and their new book.

This show has an OB, a nurse, and a doctor to answer questions people have on their treatment and health.

This episode was on childbirth. The debate that sparked was one that made my blood boil.

Eventually, I am going to become a CPM (home birth midwife). I want to be able to give women the option only 1% of our country takes. And if I can help women avoid unnecessary interventions and cesareans, my job will be accomplished.

On this show, the OB, a woman, had worked in county hospitals and 3rd world countries her whole career. This entire show, she kept bringing up, “If you want to endanger your baby,” “if you want to be responsible for the death of your baby or wife,” “you won’t be able to transfer quickly if something happens,” and even, “One women dies every minute in labor, do you want it to be you because you home birth midwife might not come, and isn’t trained to handle that kind of situation?”

That last one really got me angry. Every minute a laboring woman dies? Every Minute???

And I wasn’t mad because she is saying women die. You can die just walking down the street and tripping on a crack in the sidewalk. Things happen. People die. But if one woman died every minute in labor, we would run out of women that can have babies really fast.

In addition, the reason she gave for women dying. The midwife wouldn’t come? It’s their job!! And I know that really fast labors happen, and traffic happens, and people get sick, but a midwife would not just NOT SHOW UP! Where was this woman getting her information????!!!

This entire show, all she did was scare people. “If you do this, your baby will die.” Well, hot damn, where do I sign up to get a live baby? Scheduled cesarean it is!

And now speaking of cesareans, this ‘doctor’ said that doctors “would rather not even keep track of the rate because the answer to your best c-section rate is what is needed and that’s what’s medically required because you want to save a life, you want to save a baby, so that is what we do. We stay up, we give our LIVES and we feel responsible for every mother and baby that we take care of.”

Ok, this one just made me think she wanted more credit than she is given. Since when does an OB give their life for a laboring woman? And they do stay up, but they don’t actually stay an entire labor like a midwife does. They can go home and go to bed and come back when the baby is crowing. I don’t see how that means they give their lives for women and babies.

After this, she procedes to say that midwives are great, but they should all treat in hospitals. “In Germany, that’s how they do it.”

I am SOOOOOOO glad she said Germany. I lived there for 2 1/2 years. They do use midwives in the hospital. BUT, the reason they are in the hospital is because they constitute 75% of the medical practice! Every birth is taken care of by a midwife, only if you are high risk does an OB cover you. And to see that OB, you have to havea referral!!

I watched this show twice. The first time I saw it, I was in a blind fury. So, I waited a couple days to watch it again. I watched it again last night and was still so inflamed, I knew I didn’t take anything the wrong way.

After the birth debate, they had two women ask questions about their upcoming second births.

The first had a cesarean with her first and wants a VBAC with her second, but her hospital is on of the 200 that won’t offer that option. She wanted to know why.

The doctor said that since there is a 1% risk of uterine rupture, they don’t like to do VBACs and it’s “safer” to schedule a cesarean, even though the risks are FAR greater from a second cesarean than a uterine rupture.

The second woman had a bad reaction to the epidural the first time, and doesn’t want to use it for this pregnancy, but her doctor won’t support a non-medicated birth.

The doctor said, “That reaction is uncommon and just because it happens once doesn’t mean it’ll happen again. Don’t write off pain meds just because you had a bad experience.”

Could she have side-stepped these questions even more? First, she claims a 1% chance of rupture makes doctors so scared, they schedule an even riskier procedure where more things can go wrong and more people actually die from as apposed to rupture.

Then, she tells a woman that labor is so hard she will need pain meds and reactions are never the same, so it MIGHT not happen. People give up sex from one bad experience, and sex has a smaller risk than taking medication!

Doctors like this woman bother me more than any other thing in the world. You could schedule c-sections for every single patient of yours and I wouldn’t despise you as much as I do this woman. She scares women into making the choice she wants them to make, and takes the education and choice away from the woman. She views pregnancy as a disease or problem doctors need to save a woman and baby from.

And I am all for medical things in labor. Bad things can happen and interventions save lives. But, why should a normal low risk pregnancy be treated like a high risk pregnancy?

Why does it have to appear like women and babies need to be saved from a labor that has worked since Adam and Eve?

To sum up my opinion, one forum I read said it perfectly, “I am not in danger, and neither is my child, in pregnancy or during my baby’s birth. If there is problems? Rock on, I’m there in the office; need me to sharpen the scalpel? I don’t want to risk my life or the life of my child. HOWEVER, until there is a risk shown (other than the tiny risk that follows us around in our daily lives) gtfo of my vagina, mmkay?”


2 Responses

  1. I can’t help but laugh at the image I think of just picturing you watch this. I can certainly see why it would upset you and this kind of nonsense about doctors scaring patients away from making their own decisions is ridiculous.

  2. Oh, it’s a really good thing I didn’t see that episode. My blood pressure would have been through the roof. I was routing you on as I read – “You tell ’em, girl!”But seriously, you should write a letter to the network or something. That’s really ridiculous.The part about a woman dying every minute? seriously? As if we don’t already have enough birth fright in this country…

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