What’s Wrong with Obstetric Care?

As a doula, I have to say that there are no practices in town that you can guarantee to have an OB deliver you that supports natural birth. Yes, they all will say they do, but the two biggest obsticles that I see are #1 Induction and #2 Failure to Progress. Obstetricians are taught that these are medical emergencies but in reality they are “emergencies” created by the insurance industry and the capitalistic health care system. Medical emergencies have true medical indications associated with them i.e. fetal distress, hypertension, etc. Taking too long, being too big, etc, are not medical emergencies. The risk inherent in medical interventions that are not necessary have added to an apauling infant mortality and maternal mortality rate in our country. Remember an obstetrician gets paid more for the more interventions preformed.  Moreover, I am tired of our patriarchial system that does not believe in the power of a mother to create life, give birth and nourish her child and all she needs is support and love to do so!
I was able to have a day with the midwife guru, Ina May Gaskin, and she stated very simply “a woman gives birth more easily when you are nice to her”. You can have the nicest obstetrician, the nicest labor and delivery nurse in the world, but they cannot remain with a woman during her entire labor giving her the support and encouragement that she needs to trust her instincts, feel safe, let go and give birth. Dropping in to see how you are doing is not labor support. I also feel that their education has not given them the confidence in the female power that when supported and love, she can let go and give birth “on-time”. And what is failure to progress… failure to be patient.
Furthermore, how can we expect fathers to give this type of confident attention when they themselves need support to relax and not be too worried or anxious. They need to be told, yes it is intensive and yes it is okay to touch, love, kiss, and cuddle during labor. My husband has seen me give birth twice, yet he still worries that it looks hard and something may happen to us. He says he looks at the doula and midwife and their smiles keep him calm.
No obstetrician in town is going to say “play with her boobies intensily for a while” …. no they will say “pitocin”. Baby too big? Dont lay on your ass when it needs to open … another thing you wont hear. Your water broke and you aren’t contracting yet… get something to eat and go to sleep…. no, you’ll be instructed to go to the hospital and get your pit.
Only a midwife can understand, support and truly know labor in its nature sense… that is what she is trained to do. Obstetricians and labor nurses are trained differently. You can call your midwife at home … not your obstetrician… enough said!
Remember we are mammals and if we feel threatened or fearful in anyway we will resist bring our babies into the world, ie induction and FTP. Make love to your husband and let that engery flow through you when giving birth… trust birth….trust yourself.



  1. Anna Spann said

    You are so so right!!!
    I “fired” my close minded OBGYN up where i was living in MI (not a popular move for a young mom) and took up childbirth classes with a local CPM, and the more I learned the MORE I was confident, excited, healthier because I was properly and carefully councelled nutritionally. in tune with my body and totally ENRAGED with the cheap slack care that I saw friends recieve.. my friends who were made to believe it was HORRIBLE to eat blue cheese and salt yet instructed that the only nutritional suppliments to take were flintstone vitamins and not at all monitered for hidration, protiens etc… plus they were all incouraged at the hospital nearby to have multiple ultrasounds, to schedule induction or a C section.. and two of them did with great regret both for emotional reasons and for the physical implications that are NOT disclosed.
    I had my baby at home with EASE, thanks to the skill of my midwife. gently we gave my baby a lovely introduction to the world. she received all her cord blood, no drama or hostile activity..she nursed right away, and she has awed everyone by her happiness, relaxed care-free cry-free awesomeness…
    North Carolinas woman need that sort of quality health care!

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