2.13.2008

VBAC - Your Right To Choose

"My hospital does not allow VBACs"

"My doctor does not do VBACs"

I cannot accept this. Can you? The prevalent thought in medical society is that we are putting the birth 'experience' ahead of the health of baby... don't they understand that the journey, the process, is for the health of the baby, and happens to include the experience?

We are in a position where our rights are attempted to be taken away from us. First they outlawed midwives in many states, and disallow the erection of free-standing birth centers in the majority of states. Then, the took the free-standing birth centers and put stringent protocols and policies on them. Throughout all of this, a host of obstetrical policies, tests, interventions, and routine administrations makes normal, low-risk birth in a hospital EXTREMELY risky. Take that all with the healthy dose of over-booked hospitals with multimillion dollar NICU and maternity OR floors, and a shortage of OBs in the U.S...

Now, pair that ALL with the fact that the and ACOG are tongue-in-cheek refusing women's rights to homebirth, VBAC, or *gasp* HBAC - where does that leave us???

A woman wants a VBAC, but her doctor and/or hospital 'does not allow it'...
So she seeks a birth center... where it is 'not supported'...
So she seeks a midwife, but, in some states, that is illegal...
So she is limited to 'having to' have a home birth - even if she feels best in a hospital setting (please note, I am not saying it IS safer to be at a hospital, simply pointing out the lack of options for our mom)... And, perhaps, if she is unlucky enough to live in a state where CPM homebirth midwifery is illegal, then she either has to fear litigation by going under the radar or she is being forced, to attempt a VBAC - to do it u/a.

What is WRONG with this picture? Are we not in America? Call me a romantic, but I still believe in freedom. Freedom of adequate and safe health care, evidence-based health care/medicine. Not limiting a woman's choices to attempt to force her hand (or win yours).



I cannot stress this enough - we need to demand that we are given evidence-based and fully-informed options. The right to refuse any and all treatment, procedures, interventions, medications, surgeries... that we not blindly trust our doctor's because they hold a degree. Many many doctor's have admitted that A LOT of maternity health care is not evidence-based, not done with the safety of mom and baby in mind, but with the preservation of the hospital and doctor in mind (keep them free of litigation by 'doing everything possible' - even if those things are to the detriment of the woman and her baby).

Don't think that your doctor knows best... because often, though they may know best, this WILL NOT be their motivation for their actions.

Educate.
Question.
Demand options.
Choose birthplaces and birth teams wisely.
Don't settle.

It is your babies birth, and your baby and your health. There are no do-overs. This is not dress rehearsal.

4 comments:

River Eden Doula said...

"Don't they understand that the journey, the process, is for the health of the baby, and happens to include the experience?"

Yes, yes, yes!

kris said...

ah, well that brought tears to my eyes. i so know full well how those women felt, only i don't have the success story afterowrds...but i'm here to see that more women do.

I am a Monkey's Momma said...

Thank you for your continued writing and support of VBAC and the competence of women to make choices for themselves.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Amen. Beautifully said.

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