Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Little Political Humor...

This was just too good to pass up!!!
I'm on a list for Birth advocacy in AL. Some one posted this little story. I HAD to put it down to be able to remember it.

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009

The last election joke! Not Republican or Democrat -
Since the presidential campaign is over, I figured some political humor might be in store. The following is a funny and true story shared with me by KC W who teaches High School Government. In one of KC's classes, they were discussing the qualifications to be president of the United States . It was pretty simple. The candidate must be a natural born citizen of at least 35 years of age. However, one girl in the class immediately started in on how unfair was the requirement to be a natural born citizen. In short, her opinion was this requirement prevented many capable individuals from becoming president. KC and the class were just taking it in and letting her rant, but everyone's jaw hit the floor when she wrapped up her argument by stating ... "What makes a natural born citizen any more qualified to lead this country than one born by c-section?"
And someday she'll vote!

I guess if nothing else, it might drop the elective c-section craze, if people knew that their child could 'never' be president if not born "naturally". ;-) Now there's something to think about!

Friday, January 9, 2009

More Reflections on Birth...


I had a new client recently comment on a situation I told them about from a birth, and say basically that in that situation there seemed to be nothing I could do to help, (to stop a situation from occurring). At which point they seemed to be wondering, how to get through their birth without something similar happening, and even having me there was definitely no guarantee to a successful outcome.

I have basically been asking myself since that interview a couple of weeks ago, what sort of response I could have given to help encourage and reassure them with. I have been somewhat asking myself if I had done any good for the family at all? I knew from the rest of the labor and birth that surely I must have been helpful. It was just a certain situation that happened that I could only do my best to help the mom deal with it at the time.

What I have decided to tell this other couple though is that, what it comes down to is your choice of caregiver. If what you want is not something that your caregiver is actually supportive of, and then it will be much more difficult to get what you want with them. The real thing to do is to find a caregiver that you feel comfortable with, whom you have done your research on, and you have a pretty reasonable idea that they are willing to work with you on the things that are important to you for your birth.

There are a couple of analogy’s I’ve heard of:
You like apples, and so you go to the fruit market, and you really want apples, but you go to the Orange stand, and ask for apples, you aren’t going to actually get apples. You have a choice to make. You can decide that you will just get an orange and be happy with that. Or you can seek out the Apple stand and buy the apple you really wanted in the first place.

The same works for wanting a certain type of car. If what you really want is a Toyota and you go to the Ford dealership, you probably are not going to get the Toyota you want. Whereas, if what you want is a Toyota and you go to a Toyota dealership, you have a lot better chances of getting a Toyota...

A slightly more complex scenario is if what you really want is Moo Goo Gui Pan, and you go to Mc Donalds or burger king, and ask for Moo Goo Gui Pan, and say you don’t want a burger, they can offer you a chicken sandwich perhaps, but... they do not have Moo Goo Gui Pan, so they simply can not offer it to you! You can then decide that you’ll go ahead and ask for the chicken sand which, and expect to get that. However, you might end up with a Burger, and you can decide to just go ahead and eat it, or try to get it changed to the chicken sand which you asked for. Or you can go ahead and just get the Burger, since that is really what they are good at, since they are a burger place anyway.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Reflections on Birth...

I've been doing a lot of self reflection lately about the births I've attended and how things went, and I've been asking myself, how could I have helped more...

I absolutely love helping moms! I LOVE being a part of this special process of birth, when that sweet new little baby comes into the world! It is a sweet and tender moment. I try my best to help the moms and families to have good memories of that time. Women will remember their births for the rest of their lives. I want to help it to be a positive experience for them.

Research on doula's shows that even if things don't go the way that moms hoped it to go exactly; even if they end up needing surgery, for example... if they have had some part in the decisions made during their labor and births, they feel much more positive about their experience.

A large part of what I try to do as a doula is to help the mom/parents is to encourage them to educate themselves on the choices that they have available for them during their labor and births. Sometimes moms don't know what some of the things available to them for their labor and birth are, or that they can request not to have some 'routine' things done. And for them to decide what they really want their birth to be like, (or hope it will be like) and then to work on getting that.

One of the ways they can do this is to do their research. Ask for opinions from others on what their experiences have been. Find people who are involved in birth and ask their opinions. Ask their Doctor and Hospitals what their induction rate is, and what their Cesarean Section rates are. Call the hospital and ask the Labor and Delivery Nurses what Dr's they would suggest who work best with moms that want the same things that they do.

I have heard it said that most parents do more research on what car or stereo equipment they want to buy than they do on what they want for their births. The sad thing about this is that, their birth experience can literally have lasting effects on their health and their whole future lives. I have heard people say that they aren't sure what to expect the first time, or they feel committed to their care provider, so they just want to go along with whatever, and perhaps NEXT time they will make some different choices.

What is potentially wrong with this type of thinking is that they might NOT have those choices available to them the next time. For example: if the Doctor or Hospital you are using happens to have an alarmingly high C-section rate, the chances of you having a surgical delivery is very high. The old rule of "once a c-section, always a c-section" does not apply like it once did, but there are more and more restrictions being placed on a mom who wants to try for a Vaginal Birth After a Cesarean (VBAC). There are whole towns and areas of the country that are no longer offering them. I've had a woman who drove two hours away from her home - bypassing several other hospitals, becuase they do NOT allow VBAC's at those hospitals any longer- just to get the chance to try for a VBAC.
Even in hospitals or areas where the will 'allow' a VBAC, some Dr's are not comfortable with them and are no longer willing to allow their patients to have a VBAC. I heard of one mother who had already had a successful VBAC of her second child, was pregnant with her third baby and then moved to a new area, where her new Dr. suggested to her that the hospital was going to ban VBAC's and so by the time she was ready to deliver her next baby she might not be allowed to plan for or ever even try for a VBAC, it would be an automatic C-section. How horribly sad for a mom, to have to go through major abdominal surgery for no other reason than the hospital or Dr. won't allow her to have a regular delivery.

I have more to say on this, but for now this seems like a lot, so I'll add more later...
For the most part, do your homework. Know what you are looking for, and do your best to find it.