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Thread: I don't understand...

  1. #1

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    Angry I don't understand...

    ... why homebirth and midwifery care isn't more popular when women great treated the way my client did today. I am appalled and reeling from today.

    In a large tertiary hospital here in Melbourne, my client went in for an induction at 42 weeks as she was no longer eligible for the birth centre being 2 weeks over, so she had to go to the main ward.

    Anyway, she was told they would break her waters and put the drip up, but she could discuss that on the day with the doctors. Her plan was to walk in and ask for waters rupturing only. She was 3cms already, no labour but very stretchy cervix, baby engaged - everything very favourable. Anyway, in we head into the hospital, I went in early with her as she felt she would need an advocate for her wishes early on, and boy was she right.

    We were introduced to the 'birth centre' (apparently) midwife who had been asked to take care of her in the main ward. Beauty, we thought.... however as soon as we got to the room it was apparent a fight was to be had. She checked my clients arms for 'good veins' for the drip. My client went along with it but at the same time said that she wasn't going to accept that yet. She goes and gets the doctor.

    The doctor comes in and does the spiel that its not protocol and if she wanted to do it, she would need to have a drip attached, even with no drugs in it for easy access - she says no thanks, I would like to be given a go at this without that (she is terrified of needles!). Doctor goes and gets the consultant, who was a senior doctor (who looked even younger than the first!) and wasn't happy at all with her decision. Here's a sample of what was said:

    "Do you have to work tomorrow? The consultant who is on call overnight does, and he's not going to be happy if he is unnecesarily woken because your labour has run into strife as they often do overnight"

    "Yes it's your body, and it's not law, but you have to accept that coming to our hospital and giving birth here, these are our rules and you have to accept some things/procedures that we tell you"



    "The consultant believes that 80% of first time mothers need synt to labour. What's going to happen when we break your waters - nothing happens most of the time?" -- well thank god all those 20% of women giving birth before synto survived or we wouldnt be here today!!!

    And so on. She had the client in tears, I was fuming and stepped up to the plate and went into bat for her, I couldn't say nothing - no-one should be treated like this and I was furious.

    I don't understand how so many women can accept this as best care. Why do they take this? Why does it happen. I am just so cross.... the happy side to the story is that the waters were broken only and she shot her baby out in 5 hours which is a massive surprise since the stress she was under. It's not meant to be like this. Why do women put up with it and think its the best we have to offer??? This couple is seriously considering a homebirth next time so they can be nurtured, not treated like inconvenient idiots. The doctor checked on them after the birth, the client said, 'See, I told you I wouldn't wake anyone up.'

    Please, please, please ladies.... think about the care options you have and make choices that leave you in control and respected. This is the only thing I wish I could pass on to everyone. So many people think they needed xxxxx and it all had to be done the way it did.... but sometimes your care is being directed by people who hate being woken at night and play the 9-5 obstetric game. I bet this consultant would be a nightmare of a consultant to have if you woke him overnight.

    My client's friend recently had a baby, refused an induction and went into labour naturally. When the doctor came in to see her, she said, 'sorry to wake you!' and his response? "You will be"

    Want someone like that putting his hands up your vagina or catching your precious baby? I wouldn't.

    I know I will never give birth without a private midwife, ever.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  2. #2

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    Kelly, what are the fees involved with a private midwife?

    I am going to a public hospital and i wouldn't mind having a private midwife... what are the costs involved though!?

    Thank you for your story, i think that's disgusting how they treated your client. it's sad that women in labour and giving birth must feel like an 'inconvenience' to the medical system isnt it.

    I'd love a home birth, i really would, however i'm a bit scared of it and need to find a good book about it all so that i can read about it with DH as he isn't really interested in it. He is a registered nurse (R.N) so has that medical background iykwim... if we had a book to read together about it i think he would be more interested in the benefits etc

  3. #3

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    It would be in the thousands (2-4k?), it varies, but thats what you'd pay an Ob. For me, it's a price I would want to pay for peace of mind knowing I had the best care, my choices respected and supported without ignoring real risk - and so things like the above don't happen. Of course I would have a doula too But its like I say with the birth plan stuff, if you want it to happen, you need to surround yourself people that can help you make that happen, and environment to make it happen and eductae yourself to help it happen. You need to work and research in order to protect yourself and feel safe.

    Or we could all get vocal and complain to private health funds and the government to fund midwifery care and provide insurance for privste midwives.... but at the moment, its not mainstream enough to get the numbers - only midwives and birth advocates are doing it... once women get on the band wagon, there will be change... its just getting them to do it!

    One of the best things about PM's are that they come to you! You can be in your jarmies and slippers but like a doula, they come into your home, spend time with you, get to know you and what you want, and you feel nurtured. You know that in labour, it wont matter what midwives are on shift because you will have one you already like and agrees with you and she will be there after too, and will support you with breatsfeeding and ongoing issues. True continuity of care.
    Last edited by BellyBelly; October 21st, 2007 at 07:24 PM.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  4. #4

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    Renstar, sadly even if you do have a private midwife in hospital they are not "allowed" to treat you. They can be there as your advocate/support person and that's about it. The only way to get the "full" advantage of having a private midwife is to do it at home.

    Kelly, that is apalling but I am so not suprised at the same time. Hats off to your client and good on her for sticking to her guns. Alot of women would have buckled under the stress and threats. Sadly, once again this happens all to often in our hospitals. OB's and consults need to come to the "rescue". If they didn't stuff around with nature in the first place there would be no or very little interference needed.

    Yet another reason to have a good strong support person or doula by your side to back you up.

  5. #5

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    Renstar, I think Sheila Kitzinger has a book called Homebirth. She also has another one, Birth, Your Way. Any books by SK are good.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  6. #6

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    What a terrible way to treat someone when they are so vulnerable

    Just goes to show that some Drs need to have a lesson in compassion and stop thinking the world revolves around them! Birthing women deserve to be treated with more respect and if they don't want to be "inconvenienced" then they have chosen the wrong career.

    It's a shame that so many just go with what they are told and not have anyone to stand up for them or to encourage them to stand up for themselves!

  7. #7

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    I had the most fantastic birth/newborn experience with a private ob in a private hospital. This was absolutely the right choice for my family and me and was reaffirmed time and time again the whole way throughout my pregnancy and beyond.

    We are lucky that we have the means to afford private health insurance. But looking at it another way, we have done without so many other things because it is a priority for us as a family (no plasma TV in our house).

    I really think it’s horses for courses. Everyone needs to be fully informed and make the choice that’s right for them. And be supported in their choice if they are fully informed. I know a homebirth would not have been the right choice for us.

    But yes, it is a shame that people need to fight for what’s right for them. In a perfect world people would listen and understand. But the world and life’s not like that and. people have to fight for so many things, carers of people with disabilities come to mind. That’s why people like you are important Kelly, and well done to you too.

  8. #8

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    Rachel, thanks

    I am not saying everyone should have a homebirth, it wont work well for everyone because if you are not feeling safe and relaxed there, it wont happen... labour will stop / stall or be difficult.... but it's good to be pedantic about who and where you choose to give birth.

    Going public, a doula or private midwife is great as you never know which doctor or midwives you will get and you will have continuity of care (as well as having them if you are private!). Going private, you get the chance to suss out what the Ob thinks before birth unlike public, so you will know what to expect to a degree, but some situations you just don't know until it happens and thats hard... but take the whole asking questions thing seriously and it will help you heaps.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  9. #9

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    That's disgraceful, trying to bully someone into doing something they don't want so the consultant didn't have to come back... I thought that being "on call" was exactly that, you are on call.. Kelly, your client was very lucky to have you there - good on you.....

  10. #10

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    Ahh... Kel as you know I had to fight and face that with my birth. Its so hard... I wish that policy wasn't as important as women's choices.

  11. #11

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    I thought it was a bit bizarre - what if she went into labour naturally the night before - would have the consultant been cranky at her?!?!? Ridiculous that the big boys are making rules so they get some sleep... so they can come in the next day to start the inductions and plan the caesareans.

    I guess my client was in that lucky 20% who would have survived giving birth!!!

    Christy, I got the impression from the rate he was going on about it, that the main problem was not policy. It was sleep. Thats the thing he went on and on about, the consultant not being happy to be woken up. It's your job - get a grip! They shouldn't be working in birth if they are not prepared to work nights. Why are they? $$$$$$$$?
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  12. #12

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    Thanks Kelly for the book recommendations i will look that one up.

  13. #13

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    Kelly, I say, if he has got a problem being on call, go get into another line of work... sorry, just my opinion....

  14. #14

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    Hey Kelly

    you sound like you did a wonderful job of 'being with woman'

    these bully tactics are not unusual in any aspect of childbirth...whether it be right at the beginning with a woman feeling forced to have all the essential blood tests and u/s (remember we are not sure what too many u/s can have on the developing baby...some reseachers indicate that it may cause low birth weight)...all the way through to birth (what a kaleidoscope of intervention it can be) and then of course the postnatal period with every m/w has a different set of ideas for BF etc (hence why the baby friendly initiative should be everywhere)

    but of course...I'm sure you know all of this

    there have been times where I have stepped the fine line of hospital protocol...and I am a stickler for safety but not stupidity (I used to get my private women on the bed squatting, as technically they could not get off the bed)...but have come to firmly believe in being patient and kind (just as you all are) and in turn that will calm anyone around you...

    remember a drop in the pond, starts the ripple that creates the wave.

    Kelly I am sorry you had such a terrible experience...but be proud of yourself for standing up for your beautiful birthing mama, and know that you are making change

    on average HB costs minimum $2500 up to about $4000

    have a glass of red hun...you deserve it

    xx yogababy

  15. #15

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    Thanks Nat I did remain calm, just screaming in my head like I do when there are problems on BB sometimes LOL but I was firm at the same time. I said that was an unfair thing to say and that she deserves a go, she just wants to give it a go and not refuse all care, and she deserved that given all was so favourable. In my head I was beating him up like a punching bag LOL!!! It is the best policy though you are right - sometimes it just catches you off guard when they say these things. I am sure the shock factor will subside one day - not acceptance of it but realisation it does happen alot.

    Even in private hospitals I have attended births where they have let women go without the drip. Some have to fight, some not, but not as bad as this. I was shocked given the hospital it was.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  16. #16

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    we sound so alike Kel...I also do the 'in your head' abuse

    and I am always suprised by how so many health professionals think that they have control of the birthing woman but a postive spin on this means that I remain firm, committed and bloody passionate about providing support and eduction...and just as you... I love it

    xx

  17. #17

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    If I wasn't so tired (Olivia was up every 2 hours lastr night, and up for the day at 6:30am, and I'm meant to be working night duty tonight - you think YOUR doctor is tired?) I'd post more. all I can say is:

    Disgusted. Absolutely disgusted. I would be gently steering your client towards writing an extremely strongly worded letter of complain to the Chief Medical Officer of the hospital, CCed to both the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

    Complaining that, as a consultant, they needed to institute an intervention like that because they wanted to SLEEP? Absolutely appalling, some of the worst treatment I have ever heard of.

    I'd also encourage your client to use some very specific language in their letter. Words like "emotional trauma". And, oh, I don't know, "litigation", or "lawsuit". Because what that consultant said to you is the height of irresponsiblity.

  18. #18

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    omg what disgusting behavor from people you are meant to trust and put yours and your babies life in the hands of. That is appauling . I bet you had all the words ever invented which are not so nice runing throgh your head!

    So basically if a women who chooses to birth the way she chooses goes into problems later in the labor, its basically her fault? Is this correct ? In the eyes of the morons at the hospital that is.

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