Take away one choice - and once this is started they will continue to be taken away one by one - and you will be left with no choices at all and will wonder what went wrong and where they all went.”
- J Edgley, Doula, FOOTPRINTS & RAINBOWS
They are denied to people just like you and I.
We are told that we are "not allowed" to labour a certain way, "not allowed" to go over a certain gestational date based on an estimated date that comes from an incorrect assumption that every single person with a period has a 28 day cycle and ovulates only on day 14 of that cycle.
We are told that we are “not allowed” to labour in a bath or tub and that it’s “too dangerous!” despite research showing it to be safe and the NICE (https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg190/chapter/Recommendations) guidelines saying that it should be offered to all labouring people.
We are told that we are “not allowed” to get off the bed, wonder around, walk around, move too much, take off the monitors... need I say more?
We are told that we MUST have an IV “just in case” even when there is no reason for one, and no evidence to support the use of having one placed “just in case”.
We are told that we are “not allowed” to VBAC, especially not after 2, 3, 4, 5 or more caesareans even if we wanted to, because, you know, it’s “too dangerous” and no one wants a dead mother or baby... regardless of the fact that it’s well known that the more caesareans that you have the more dangerous pregnancy itself becomes for the birthing person, to the point that after 4 cesareans it’s statistically safer to give birth vaginally (http://www.ican-online.org/education/).
We are told that we are “not allowed” to make our own choices, that we MUST obey our care provider because doctor’s are the “experts” (they ARE the expert in surgical and high risk birth – they are NOT an expert in normal, low to moderate risk birth), despite US knowing our own bodies and babies far better than any care provider ever could.
Where does it end?
When do we, the birthing people, get to make our own choices about our own bodies and our own births without being forced, through fear-mongering and manipulation, into making a choice that we wouldn't have otherwise made?
The answer to that is pretty simple in theory, but much harder to make a reality.
In order for birthing people to be able to make their own choices, whatever they may be, they need to be supported
- by their care provider, their family and their friends - in those choices without judgement, manipulation, fear-mongering or coercion.
For most it's hard to do that however, as fear-mongering, coercion, judgement and manipulation (especially with care providers/doctors who are risk adverse) are rampant in all areas of maternity care (in fact it's rife in all sectors of the medical system), finding the right support, finding even the most barely adequate support that meets our individual needs, can be one of the most difficult parts of our pregnancy, birth and parenting journey's.
Once we do have it though we are unstoppable, we can achieve almost anything that we set our hearts and minds on, and the outcomes of our births, even if things don't go the way we had planned, will be better overall.
Our choices are being taken away, one by one, and it is negatively the overall affecting outcomes for birthing people.
Without choices being available to us we lose our rights, without our rights we become incubators for our babies only, when we become incubators we become objects to be used - and abused - by whoever is in charge.
And that is NOT acceptable.
Does any of this resonate with you? Want to work with me on your pre-birth mindset? Send a message to arrange a no obligation interview to find out if I'm the right doula for you!