Doula Rule #1

Him:"I apologize for sending you out. I hope I didn't offend you. I'm sure you understan-"

Me:"... Of course I understand! I mean, what better way to coerce a woman into a major surgery that she neither needs nor wants than to remove her only support and full disclosure of information from the room (chuckle - ended with dagger-eyes.. walk away)."

Doula Rule #1 - I work for YOU. Not the hospital, and they know that. We are not in the business of making hostile situations, but we are there to advocate for your rights, wishes, and informed consent. If your doctor insists on your doula leaving, he/she either:
  1. doesn't know what a doula does and thinks we can't be there for major decisions or
  2. wants to coerce, bully, persuade, encourage, or threaten you into something you either don't want and/or don't need.
We cannot persist our presence, only YOU can. If YOU want us there, TELL your doctor and we stay. You, as a patient in a hospital located in the good ol' US of A, have certain rights. These rights include having an advocate there for you at all times to make sure that you are getting equal, fair, informed, evidence-based treatment and that none of your federal rights are being infringed on. That is a doula.

'nuff said.


Kim said...

Did you actually say that to an OB? If so, you're my hero =)

mamaloo said...

Very good point!

Isolation is a key factor in abuse: isolate your victim so that you can better manipulate them.

slh35661 said...

I am 99.9% with ya. The only time I would disagree was the example I delt with one time of a woman who called herself a doula, though I am suspicious she was just a neighbor of the woman in labor, who was the most biligerant woman I have ever had the unpleasure of dealing with in the doula role. Now, don't misunderstand me...I LOVE when my laboring moms have a doula present. The doulas are normally wonderful, helpful, supportive, and have even helped me on occassion in ways I would never have imagined (yeah for doulas!). But in that one case I did ask that doula to leave, almost called security on her, because she was just so hateful to us and was making the laboring mom into this distrustful person I couldn't do anything for. It was a mess. I finally got it through to the mom and her husband that I had every intention of advocating for her and her baby, and that we were not going to force her into things she didn't want. I was so emotionally drained after that one I just wanted to spit. So my point here is that 99.9% of the time, I am with you about this, but there are occassions where asking someone to leave the room is just so as a provider I can talk one on one with the patient and the family to make sure I get their real intentions. Then again, I don't have a surgical knife I can sharpen and just call a c-section, so it is different then being a physician.
By the way...great face presentation video. Where to you find these cool things?

Jenn said...

nuff said

Nicole D said...

slh (i.e. Traveling Midwife) Thank you for your 'other side of the story'. Yes, I know a doula (new doula - not in this area) who is like that as well.

But, by and large, (as you stated) doulas try to KEEP from those types of situations - we don't like animosity at a birth, we are about nurturing, protection, and compassion. We only if we HAVE to will we rock the boat.

Ei - I know I have said it before, but I will say it again - I am not anti-OB (I had OBs for 4 of my children's births), but I don't like what I see sometimes. There are GREAT OBs out there - it is just, when it goes bad, it goes BAD.

slh35661 said...

And I concur whole heartedly with what you have just said as well. I think we are in agreement here. Nice to have friends like you!

DoulaMomma said...

I've only told one doc, in a firm but non-adversarial way, that I didn't work for him (he had called me in the hall & told me I needed to get my client on board with the repeat cesarean he wanted to do...it was late afternoon on December 31.)

But excellent point, and one I try to stress, that the clients must introduce us and empower us in the eyes of the hospital to be there and assist them.


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