Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Women Rise Up

I recently responded to a post on one of my egroups that I can't stop thinking about.

The post was from a pregnant woman, expecting her 11th child. She explained that her first 9 births were normal, safe births, and that her 10th baby was in a frank breech position, so they had a c-section. Now here she is pregnant with baby #11, and her doctors are telling her that it is incredibly unsafe for her to have a VBAC on this birth (only because of the one c-section, not because of any particular issues with this pregnancy), but it'll be as simple as pulling a tooth to have an elective c-section.

The woman has a family history of blood clots, giving her additional risks related to surgery. And, heck--she doesn't want to have a surgical birth! And here she is, being bullied by the people that are supposed to be taking care of her.

Women--hear me now. You have to SPEAK UP. As my midwife says, "Vote with your feet!" (stomp! Go! Don't go! Whatever it takes.)

As long as women allow themselves to get shuttled along through major surgeries and are denied normal, natural births, we will only continue to see more of this. As it is, most hospitals in the US are no longer doing VBACs under any circumstances, which is a crock of bull, because there is NO sound medical reasoning for this.

At the last point when I kept up with the stats, the chance of a uterine rupture during a VBAC was .05%. Not five percent. HALF of ONE percent.

In other words, there is a statistical likelihood of 99.5% that a VBAC labor and birth would be perfectly fine.

When you factor in the reasons why that half-of-one-percent of uterine ruptures do happen, it's typically because of the use of pitocin or cytotec or other synthetic drugs used to try to force a woman's body to do what it isn't ready to do.

And when you know that most uterine ruptures are not fatal, and not necessarily even dangerous, it makes the no-VBAC position even more ridiculous.

Women, and the men that love them, you need to remember that the buck stops with YOU. It is not enough to quietly obey your doctor, being sent down the chute like a lamb to slaughter.



Speak your mind.

Say NO when you do not want what's being handed out.

Learn the phrase "I do not consent" and repeat it until you are comfortable doing so.

Be prepared to walk away from your health practitioner if you are not getting the care you deserve, and are not confident that they will help you get the birth you want.

Look at your other options. Is there another doctor? A midwife? Another place you could go to for the birth? Have you looked into home birth? Can you just walk into a different hospital to have the baby at the last minute? ("oopsie! Thank you.")

Think outside the box.

In short, know that YOU ARE WORTH IT. Do not open your mouth and swallow their poisonous medicine.

If we do not advocate for ourselves and our children, who will?

Related post: They Are Not the Boss of You!


Mimi said...

I think that this is so frustrating and encapsulates all that is wrong with the current medical birthing system.

I have a link for you to pass on - As you are likely aware, many women are denied access to VBAC (Vaginal birth after cesarean) because of hospital policies and outright bans. Attorneys with the Northwest Women’s Law Center in Seattle are looking at this issue. One of them asked us to post the following:

I’m a lawyer with the Northwest Women’s Law Center in Seattle. I’m investigating possible legal responses to bans on vaginal birth after cesarean at hospitals in the northwest states Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Oregon. If you are currently pregnant and want to have a VBAC, but are facing a hospital policy that would require you to have a c-section regardless of whether you want it and regardless of whether it is actually medically necessary, and you are willing to consider working with a lawyer on this, we’d like to talk with you. Please respond to vbacbanhelp@ican-online.org .

Even if you are not in one of the states listed, you can still help by emailing this out to any email lists you are on and asking everyone who receives it to email it to all the lists THEY are on as well so that it is distributed far and wide. Thanks

from an email list I am on advocating home birth.

Anonymous said...

Write to ACOG and demand that they do something about lack of VBAC access for women, and the shocking c-section rate:

Office of the Executive Vice President
Ralph W. Hale, MD, FACOG
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
PO Box 96920
Washington, DC 20090


Douglas Kirkpatrick, MD, FACOG, President
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
PO Box 96920
Washington, DC 20090

Real Live Lesbian said...

Amen. What a well written post!

Anonymous said...

Geez louise! I just had a blog rant about a similar situation. What is wrong with these doctors? Their hearts get colder as their wallets get fatter!