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Good reminders from Mothering.com

Posted by on Apr. 3, 2014 at 11:19 PM
  • 8 Replies
1 mom liked this

I'm guilty of this myself at times when I think back to my sons birth. I've had to remind myself that my first birth was what it was and that it's not 100% my ob's fault. 


Four Reasons We Should Forgive Our Care Provider

(Midwife doing baby exam.)

 

Through the years of teaching birth classes I have learned far more than any of my students. One thing I have noticed as time has marched on is that two different people can have very different experiences with the same care provider.  

 

Even the "best midwife" in town will have detractors.  And even the best doc will have patients whose births literally go off the rails and leave mom, dad and everybody involved feeling crushed. 

 

What does this have to do with care providers and our need to be a little more gentle with them? I think in our quest for the best care provider possible (which I highly encourage and consider one of the most important choices you will ever make during pregnancy) has also led to some unnecessary blame placed on said care provider.  

 

Here are some things about your doctor or midwife that you deserve to know:

 

1) Your care provider is human. This means that they have good days- and BAD days. They get stressed and they have family problems and money problems and they even get divorced. (In fact, you could probably argue that they get divorced more than regular folks because of that awful schedule!) No matter how professional they try to be, sometimes this humanity will seep through and it might not make you feel like you have hired the mythical midwife you envisioned in your rose colored dream.  

 

2) Your care provider will make mistakes. Yes, 'tis true. Even the best doctor or midwife or doula(not a care provider but a labor support person) will make mistakes. This is part of their humanity. This really stinks, especially if they make a bad call when it comes to your birth, but it is going to happen. Unlike someone whose job is fitting you for shoes or helping you choose the right dryer, a doctor who screws up can really make life difficult or traumatic for those involved. In fact, medicine is one of the rare professions where mistakes can actually lead to a death. Frankly, I don't envy their position.  

 

3) Your friend's perfect midwife might not be yours. It is SO tempting to recommend my favorite midwife to everybody I know. And I do recommend her.  However, the truth is that when it comes to birth, there is not a "one size fits all" person who will be beloved and perfect for everybody. Maybe this is because of skill, personality, schedule, or even how they mesh with your husband.  Whatever it is, choosing somebody just because you know your best friend chose her might not be the best idea.

 

4) Even if you DO have the perfect care provider, you might still have a difficult birth. Now this is something I know drives some birth professionals and care providers batty.  For whatever reason, birth sometimes is very difficult. It can be abnormally painful, positioning can be a problem, it can be incredibly long or tearing can be bad. There are a lot of variables. In fact sometimes people have bought a tasty but often untrue idea that birth is always orgasmic and full of moaning and candlelight, only to be shocked when there is more blood and screaming than romance. (Unless you are into that kind of thing, in which case, I am not judging.)

 

Some of the variables of birth we can control for. I think we would LIKE to control for all of them, but we can't.  This is the sad/scary/beautiful thing about birth. Sometimes a woman does everything "right" and things still go very wrong.  As mentioned, this CAN be the care providers fault, but sometimes it is just something else, (bad luck, who knows?)

 

It can be hard not to blame a care provider or doula in this situation, especially considering the emotions involved in birth and postpartum, but it isn't always appropriate or helpful for you or them.

~

Now I am not going to pretend for one hot minute that care providers are never to blame.  There are some awful ones out there and there are even just plenty of nice ones who really love chopping women open and speeding things up and basically doing things that I have a big fat problem with.  

 

But with that being said, I do believe that sometimes we can be a little too hard on those who have the difficult job of attending births.  Yes, they chose it, but that doesn't make it easy and that doesn't make them perfect.  I chose motherhood and I love it, but I still screw up all the time. I hope my kids forgive my mistakes someday, not because I need or deserve that, but because I think they will be a lot happier if they can forgive me.   

 

The same is true for us.

 

Sarah Clark is a natural birth teacher in Northern California (Santa Rosa and Healdsburg to be exact).  She helps train childbirth instructors for Birth Boot Camp (best company EVER) and has seen almost 100 fabulous teachers march off to educate others about natural birth!  She loves birth, teaching, her four kids and hubby, and spreading the word about how awesome birth can be.

by on Apr. 3, 2014 at 11:19 PM
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Replies (1-8):
jconney80
by Jill - Admin on Apr. 4, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Great things to think about! Thanks for sharing
jellyphish
by Platinum Member on Apr. 4, 2014 at 12:02 AM
Definitely good to keep in mind. Thanks!
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SlapItHigh
by on Apr. 4, 2014 at 12:10 AM
Good things to keep in mind!
sjk_maybe_mom
by Bronze Member on Apr. 4, 2014 at 2:53 AM
2 moms liked this
Having a hard time swallowing this article, but I suppose it's my frame of reference.

The only part I agree with is it wasn't 100% my ob's fault. Had I been more educated and perhaps more assertive, then things with my first birth would likely have gone much differently. However, I still feel that medical professionals need to be more open to their patient's cares and concerns for birth. A woman shouldn't ever be in a place where she feels belittled for or has to fight for or defend her choices for her birth.

I'd really love to see the "god complex" removed from the medical community. If I'm supposed to remember how human they are, per the article, perhaps they should afford their patients the same courtesy.
JoJoBean8
by on Apr. 4, 2014 at 8:46 AM
I don't agree with #1. My first birth was traumatic but the doctor who delivered me was just the on call doctor. I gave the practice the benefit of the doubt with my second. I told them they kind of birth i wanted they agreed until i was 40 weeks and went back on everything we had talked about.
tabi_cat1023
by Tabi - Admin on Apr. 4, 2014 at 11:46 AM

I think the issue is there ARE bad doctors and the few good experiences that people have is because they didnt KNOW better or wanted an extreme medical birth or csection.

I have a "friend" I use that term loosely here that wanted a csection from before baby was even conceived.  Finding a doctor whowas willing was virtually impossible, but when she heard my doctor was csection happy and his rates were like 80% csection(no not a high risk doctor) she juped for joy.  He even falsified some records for her to medically NEED the csection.

There are doctors who suck just like there are doctors who dont and have off births...


Sarah725
by on Apr. 4, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Very good info!

FrumpyMama
by on Apr. 4, 2014 at 5:59 PM
I definitely agree with them treating patients more humanely. What I failed to realize with my first was that my gf who recommended the hospital loved the idea of being fully medicated and medically birthing. I should of known that going in, but I think there is a lot with first births that goes both ways. They assume that we don't know anything and we assume they will listen or go with our idea. Without talking about or any real study. My ob was a good ob, but a horrible birthing ob.

Quoting sjk_maybe_mom: Having a hard time swallowing this article, but I suppose it's my frame of reference.

The only part I agree with is it wasn't 100% my ob's fault. Had I been more educated and perhaps more assertive, then things with my first birth would likely have gone much differently. However, I still feel that medical professionals need to be more open to their patient's cares and concerns for birth. A woman shouldn't ever be in a place where she feels belittled for or has to fight for or defend her choices for her birth.

I'd really love to see the "god complex" removed from the medical community. If I'm supposed to remember how human they are, per the article, perhaps they should afford their patients the same courtesy.
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