Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I love this post, found through the Lamaze Healthy Birth Carnival #4 (Avoid unnecessary interventions) about interventions hidden in plain sight. I have to admit, as a doula I am sometimes surprised by how people who are ready to advocate for their intervention-free birth barely notice or easily consent to many of these. And of course, it gets to the point where it's easy to just stop noticing them. My favorites:

* The uniform -Asking and expecting the mother to give up her clothes for the hospital gown.
* Who’s on first? – If care provider is part of a large practice or on-call group a woman may have never met or have any knowledge of the person who’s practice style and philosophy is helping to guide and steer her labor and delivery. On-call CP may or may not adhere to the birth plan the laboring woman worked out with her own CP.
* The big drag around – Requiring IV running with absence of medical need.
* Ice chips and Jello – Disallowing snacks and sometimes even actual water even though labor is hard work.
* One is enough – Limiting the amount or type of support persons a woman is allowed to have with her.

It may sound odd, but when I see a woman on the L&D floor checking in, still wearing her own clothes, I take a moment to enjoy seeing her still owning her own body. I want to qualify that quickly by saying that there's nothing about choosing to wear a hospital gown, especially if you'd rather not risk sacrificing any of your own clothes, that makes you suddenly surrender all of your independent thoughts and rights. But there is something about that symbolic moment of changing into the hospital gown that so often denotes the moment when the woman is no longer in control, and that codes her in the eyes of the hospital staff as "patient".

Anyway, check out the whole post, and all the others from the Carnival!

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