This comment was recently left by a reader named Jessica under one of my older posts. Since I read every comment that is posted on my blog I happened to stumble upon it this morning. When I read it I couldn’t help but think “I Hear Ya Sister!!!”and felt that it was so well stated that it needed to be its own post! I know that there are quite a few doulas out there that read my blog and I just wanted to take this opportunity and give a shout out to them all and say thank you for all you try to do to educate women before they get to me on L&D! Unfortunately, they don’t all listen but I hope you know that there is at least one L&D nurse out there that appreciates your efforts, both before and during labor!!!
For all you expecting moms out there please check out DONA’s website to learn a bit more about what a doula is, how you can find one, the effects a doula can have on your birth outcome and experience, and how a doula can advocate for you!
And just for the record, there is NOTHING private about a hospital birth experience. Even in the most well meaning hospitals with the most well meaning birth attendant and the most well meaning nurse(s). Albeit some women’s hospital births might be more private than others and I personally have had the priviledge to be a part of a few totally amazing hospital births. But to not hire a doula for your hospital birth (especially at a university hospital!) because you want a “private” experience is a very VERY naive and misguided idea! I am not saying that to hurt anyone’s feelings and I am certainly not judging anyone out there who decided not to hire a doula for one reason or another. I am just telling it like it is. Some food for thought…
I am a certifying doula and have recently had an interview with a perspective client. She is 36wks pregnant with her first. She was strongly considering a doula, but everyone else in her family was on the fence, and pushing a “private” birth experience. However, they are planning a delivery at a university hospital, she has yet to see the same health care provider throughout her prenatal care, she has no idea which one will be at the birth, or if it will even be someone she has met. They are planning a natural birth. She assured me that the hospital she is birthing at offers a multitude of birth options, including water birth, birth ball, position changes, etc… and the childbirth education from the hospital has given them confidence in their ability to get what they want from this birth. After much “deliberation” they decided that they were not going to hire a doula, based solely on their confidence in the hospital to give them what they want, and their desire for privacy. While I can completely respect their privacy request, I fail to see how birthing in a university hospital will give her much if any privacy…AND if she doesn’t even know who will be her health care provider at the birth…how is she confident that the hospital will give her what she needs? I wish there was some way to help open her naive eyes to the reality of birth in hospitals today. Her chances of getting to work with a mother friendly doc that understands and respects natural birth have got to be low! Reading your blog was comforting (because I know there are others who struggle with this) and depressing(because we have to struggle with this). I don’t want to have her hire me for her VBAC next time around. I want her to have the birth she desires now. I realize there isn’t much I can do for her at this point, which is why I am here, leaving my frustration with a bunch of like minded individuals. I am hoping things will go well for her and in the mean time, I’ve let her know that I am and will be available until the baby is born. just in case. Thanks for the space to rant.
Jessica, you can rant here anytime!!! I Hear Ya Sister! Loud and clear!!
And now I leave you with one of my FAVORITE Monty Python skits of all time. I have seen it a million times but it is still as hilarious (and eerily true) each time I see it. Notice how the doctor invites in an army of people to watch. It often feels like that where I work no matter what I do!!!