When did we lose our faith in ourselves and our bodies to do things naturally? It seems like every year more and more women are putting their minds into the control of doctors and other medical personel and not thinking for themselves. It stinks of mental abuse.
Some of you who read this may think that I am going a bit too far in linking mental abuse with how we are treated by doctors, but the fact is that that is what is happening. Women are losing control over what they wish to do during labour and pregnancy. We are told that we CANNOT put on more than a set amount of weight, and if we do put on more than that set amount we are made to feel bad about it and put on a "pregnancy diet" to stop us from gaining any more weight.
We are told that we HAVE to dilate a certain amount each hour - and if we don't dilate that much we become disheartened and feel like we have failed, that our bodies do not work, when in actual fact our bodies DO work, but not to any doctors schedule, they work to their own schedule and just as we drag our feet and try to avoid something that we don't like our uterus behaves in the same way - if something isn't right, or we are afraid, or we haven't had anything to eat or drink our uterus will slow down, clamp up and not work as fast or as effectively as it could. And when the uterus slows down interventions are brought into play - breaking the amniotic sac, starting a pitocin drip, or mum is labeled as "failure to progress" and a cesarean section is done, which makes more risk for any future pregnancies and births.
Don't get me wrong, there is a time and a place for a cesarean section and other interventions, but they should only be used when there is no other option and mother and/or baby will become compromised or will die.
What gets my hackles up is that as a general rule in any hospital or medical setting we are no longer able to make our own decisions in regards to how we treat ourselves during pregnancy, in how we labour and how we birth our babies without fighting for it. We are told that we cannot do this and cannot do that. We are controlled and forced into a averaged block of women who deliver their babies within 12-24 hours and if we take longer than that to deliver we are labelled and effectively told our bodies have failed and do not know what they have to do in order to deliver a baby. We are treated like animals, pushed into one thing after another, in many cases our objections are ignored and we are not listened to at all. In other cases women are physically held down on the bed to labour on their backs.
Some of you may think that these things I have mentioned are a part of history from the 1950's and 1960's and even earlier than that, but the reality is that they are still happening today 50 and 60+ years later. Women are still being treated like this, some women are having drugs injected into them without ever having given consent, or they consent to having one pain relieving drug and are given another one instead at the doctor's orders. That can't be true you say? It is, I am one of those women who were given another drug instead of the one requested. I asked for Pethideine and was given Terbutaline instead, at 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant, all because the obstetrician on call didn't feel comfortable dealing with a VBAC delivery. I didn't find out about the Terbutaline until my youngest child was 2 days old when the paediatrician went through my notes with me to see if something had happened during labour that could have contributed to her post birth issues and low apgar scores, to say I was shocked was an understatement. it was just one more thing that made me angry and contributed to my post natal depression.
What happened to me is not a rare ocurrance, it is very, very common. Recently I saw a post by another lady on a pregnancy and parenting forum about the same doctor who did this to me. This same doctor contributed to the death of her baby in-utero by not providing the care he was supposed to. Between 34 and 39 week this doctor refused to see this woman and told her to just see the midwives. By the time he finally saw the woman after being called down to the emergency department when she was 39 weeks it was too late and the baby was stillborn.
Doctors like this are very common, they are in every hospital around the world and you won't know if you are seeing one until push comes to shove and your requests are ignored or you are given the "fear tactics" spiel about the risks you will take etc.
So take control of your body and your pregnancy and labour. Ask questions, say no, don't let others do things to you just because they can. YOU ARE IN CHARGE, not them!
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