The link above is an article that is the embodiment of what I want for my clients who choose OB/Gyn/Hospital care AND clients who risk out of alternatives.
A few notes that stood out for me:
OB/Gyn's could eliminate most of the challenges listed here by encouraging or providing doula care within their practice. A skilled/experienced doula will spend the time to build the trust that allows a woman to voice her fears, apprehensions, expectations for pre-natal care, joys, etc. and can then help her reframe them within the context of reasonable expectations in a hospital environment. For example, many women are afraid of a few specific words related to the labor process. One example is tearing. That is a scary freaking word to associate with a very sensitive part of your body. If men had babies, I doubt this kind of terminology would have been established, especially considering the reality of what normally happens. This little word can generate a cosmic level of fear. Sometimes we don't want to talk about our fears, because we are afraid to hear it reflected back at us, or worse, magnified. A standard OB pre-natal visit (at least in my area) doesn't give a woman enough time to develop trust that allows us to talk about our deepest fears...but a doula pre-natal visit does.
Childbirth Education: In my opinion/experience, the childbirth education that is offered in the hospital...yes I know there are exceptions...is watered down, vague, politically correct (meaning that there is no actual value placed on minimizing intervention for the well being of mom and baby), and is perhaps edited by the shareholders who want women to comply with a standard of care that keeps them well into the black. With a comprehensive childbirth education class, a family may be challenging in the sense that they may have opinions, but they are unlikely to have misunderstandings about what to expect from the process. I really can't imagine the circumstances that would cause my students to feel this way, as we discuss so many possible variations. When we hold ourselves partly responsible for our care the care provider is still partially responsible because it is not fair to expect a pregnant woman to be able to articulate every feeling she has, but if my students have unresolved questions, fears, expectations I would expect them to either command an opportunity to discuss it, or if they didn't feel safe enough to do that, CHANGE CARE. Another OB, a midwife in or out of hospital, you should feel safe with your provider. The emotional part of giving birth is half of the process. Feeling safe is very important.
Difficult = I expect individualized care/have opinions about my care/don't feel comfortable discussing my fears with you/don't feel safe/don't feel heard/don't feel acknowledged as an expert on my own body/self, don't agree with/understand some element of the care you are suggesting or pressuring me to comply with.
Women, strike that, human beings, are complex on every level, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, philosophically, experientially etc. (there are probably more "ally's" than we even realize). Everyone should be difficult, because everyone is uniquely human and if you are treating a person holistically, it is complex. Perhaps "complex" could be substituted for "difficult".
I give this OB a TON of credit for writing this piece, the honesty and transparency is very refreshing.
I am grateful for it because it supports my knowledge/assertion that there are many providers out there that will treat a woman with holistic care and authentic compassion, so when I say I am not anti OB or anti hospital I really mean it. If you are not getting the care you feel you should be, simply change it. There are others who can provide the care you desire/deserve. As we vote with our dollars, or our insurance companies dollars, we can instigate change. When the whole of the birth community can come together, fostering thorough education, emotional/physical support and expert medical care without conflicts between them, this will be a non issue.
I am pro-family centered holistic care wherever it is offered. I am pro-individualized healthcare, I am pro-respect and dignity, I am pro-complex human being giving birth to another complex human being,
I am pro-authentic compassion.