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An American Birth: Induction by Breakfast, C-Section by Dinner




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I would just lurve to have a copy of this chart! I'd bet she was on her back the whole time. And it'd be fun to see if the anes. discussed the fact that epidurals are known to slow the second stage, AKA dystocia.

I've been thinking about maternity secret shoppers for a while now. What if pregnant women were able, with the help of a back-up medico of their choice who was on board, to attend antenatals with other doctors and record their interactions? There could be a list of facts which were required for gaining valid consent for interventions which the woman would tick off, or not, after her visit. This could go on up until the doctor inevitably "offers" induction for whatever reason. If interventions are not brought up, the woman could actively attempt to discuss them with the doc., and record the response. The woman would birth of course with her provider of choice. The information could be used by families, researchers, reporters, govt., birth activists, etc. to gain a real understanding of what women are currently facing when attempting to gain information about birth. Hospital birth classes could also be subject to the same scrutiny. This info would be different from the birth survey and other studies because it is compiled before any actual interventions occur, so we'd be looking at foresight, not hindsight. And yes, names should be named, just like food critics name eateries.

With most other businesses consumers are able to contact the BBB, which not only works on the complaint, but formats a public record so you are able to look up who you're hiring. There's no mechanism currently in place besides the criminal and civil courts for dealing with medicos, complaints are confidential, and little information about real performance is available, but you can google the docs. name and lawsuit just to check. I'd really like to see this change.

March 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

"And yes, names should be named"- as in the business, not the women, in order to protect them from retaliation.

March 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

Hm. Woman goes in for induction, ends up with c-section. You don't say.

March 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Jones

I have also thought that this would be a great idea, which is why I was so excited to find out that there is a project already under way that would do just what you've outlined! Called "The Birth Survey," it has an in-depth online questionnaire women can fill out about their care provider(s) (OBs, FPs, midwives, nurses) and birth place (hospital, birth center, home) and their experience both while pregnant and during labor and birth. Information is as anonymous as you would like for it to be. The pilot program for The Birth Survey was in New York City, and the results are already available there; the nationwide results are due to be released sometime this spring.

If you've given birth some time within the past three years, please go to The Birth Survey and fill out the questionnaire about your experience -- did you have unnecessary interventions? do you think your care providers were honest and up-front with you? did they pull a "bait and switch" on you? did you feel comfortable with them during pregnancy and labor? would you use them again? was there a nurse that you thought was just awesome? were you coerced into an epidural? did you want an epidural and were denied one?

Whether your experience was positive, negative, or a mixture of both, your experience can be invaluable to others in your area who will be able to read what actually happened with your care provider & place of birth, so they can actually be armed with "consumer information" before making their choice.

March 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

Kathy, you just reminded me that I told the Birth Survey leaders that I would talk to you about getting the word out in your state. You can Facebook it... I think there's a group or a fan page. I should probably know that...

The Birth Survey on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5045203718
The Birth Survey on Twitter: http://twitter.com/thebirthsurvey

Anon, I hope you can get one rolling in your country. =) Without naming names, how will women know who is receptive to letting their body do its thing and who is already looking at the calendar to get these first trimester primips on the calendar?

March 28, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

Oh, and if I had a dollar for every induction story like this or every "big baby" c-section that yielded an average size baby, I'd be doing pretty well. It's sad.

March 28, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

I linked back to this because it's so classic. The classic story. And like I said in my post, this narrative will probably never be questioned by this woman or any of the friends and family reading her posts. It will just add to their perception that birth is dangerous, babies get too big, c-sections are necessary - and induction has nothing to do with it.


March 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPublic Health Doula

Yuck. Same ol' same ol'

March 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNoble Savage

Sounds like an average day at work for me. I also had a C/S with my first birth (I think I mentioned this numerous times on your site, Bitter Much!), not because the baby was big, but because she was OP (Occiput Posterior). I was pushing flat on my back. No one made any other suggestions of position changes while pushing. Second baby I pushed out (VBAC- Yeah!) while laying on my side. This was the midwifes suggestion. I doubt any OB's would be so creative.

March 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterReality Rounds

RR, I hear of some progressive, midwife-like OBs from time to time. Thanks for introducing me to the "nurse's curse" in previous comments. It must be pretty frustrating to see this play out everyday. It doesn't make the birth of a human being any less beautiful or amazing, but what a tough way to start out.

OP=Ouch. Until that baby flips, yeeeeoww.

Yay for your VBAC! =)

March 29, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill
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