Friday, February 26, 2010

A rant about medicalized birth

I know people are going to get sick of this type of post, but really, I have to vent about the ridiculous things that women put up with in the field of obstetrics.

I frequent a few discussion boards about pregnancy and parenting- I've gotten lots of good information from some and others just give me a headache and make me mad.

I just read a post by a women who is 37 weeks pregnant. She posted that at her last appointment, her doctor was doing the internal check. The woman wrote, "She was digging around in there and goes, 'I'm stripping your membranes.'" The woman, whose husband is out of town for several days, understandably was upset. The doctor then told her that it wouldn't send her into labor, just "help her dilate more." Umm, hello, dilating is part of labor- not active labor, but it's still labor.

Several women replied with things like, "Oh yeah, my doctor did this too. I wasn't too happy because it hurt but then I went into labor a couple days later so I didn't care." None of them seemed to think it was too much of a problem.

I would be seeing red if my doctor/ midwife did this. I would be reporting them to every agency I could think of and would even consider filing an assault charge- because that's exactly what it is. Yet, most women don't do any of these things. Why? Because apparently it's the norm in the United States to give up all rights to your own body during pregnancy. Plenty of women consent to this procedure- and it is up to them- but to not even have the chance to consent or decline??? It's wrong on so many levels.

I will be declining all internals, though I would trust my midwife to never do something like that without my permission. It's bad enough to get a pap smear once a year, why would I agree to having something similar at every appointment for weeks until I delivered?

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