I have let this blog just sit for a while now since I last posted. I have been able to attend 5 births since then and I have had such great experiences. The births were all pretty different and were in a variety of locations as well. I won't talk much about the specifics of the births for privacy reasons but I will share some thoughts.
It is hard to see women being taken advantage of. There, I said it. I am not saying any of these births were bad or anything; just that a few times, I saw things happen that if they were using a different care provider or a different facility, would have been more ideal. It is a learning process for me as a doula to communicate this information to my clients. After all, they hired me and with that comes my own investment in them and in how their birth experience goes. If I know that a certain Doctor or practice has a high c-section rate or that a majority of their births end up being induced, am I supposed to tell them, wait for them to ask, or say nothing? If they end up with unnecessary interventions or surgery, and they find out I knew this information, would they be resentful that I did not let them know? On the other side, I have gotten mixed responses when I have attempted to warn a couple about their OB practice so they would not be surprised if their births went a certain way. Again, I am learning so I guess experience will be my best teacher.
Going along with what I said about seeing women being taken advantage of, I see and hear what the mom does not. I see things being done to her without permission and without a medical reason. I hear nurses badmouthing my clients and see them roll their eyes. I hear nurses tell moms that if they labor on their hands and knees, the baby will never come out. And, because I am trying to make a good name for myself in these hospitals so the nurses will remember and like me, I can't say anything. I watch as babies are whisked away from their mothers after 10 seconds of meeting. It can be draining.
I do not mean for this to sound like I do not like being a doula. I LOVE it. I feel so called to this work of helping and being with mothers as they welcome little ones. I am just being real and explaining why many doulas and childbirth educators have a hard time with birth being such a medical event in the hospital. Not to say that it is all the time because I have been to a birth or two where the mom was truly left alone and respected as she labored and birthed her baby.
I am going to be attending a birth in the near future and it will help me decide if I should make the decision to not work with certain care providers as I know some doulas do.
Well, that may have seemed all over the place but I wanted to put some thoughts down and it is better to do it here than on my doula blog. Thank you to anyone who takes the time to still read this blog.