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“Let You?”

Regarding birth, I hear language like this:  “You mean, your doctor let you [fill in the blank]?” 

I’ll be honest.  Language like this makes me want to puke. 

I attend births in different environments.  Rarely do I hear an out-of-hospital birther say, “I am so glad my midwife let me [fill in the blank].”  But I hear it all the time about doctors or nurses. 

What is the difference? 

Pregnant women, hear me.  You do not need to compromise all your power and choices when choosing a hospital birth.  Yes, there are some limitations.  Yes, many many OBs do not support vertical birth, delayed cord clamping, etc.  Find one who does.  Prepare.  Ask your friendly neighborhood doula which doctors support physiological birth.  We know what goes on in the labor room. 

One of my clients recently gave birth standing in the hospital bathroom.  Her doctor (of course it was Dr. Polo Shirt) responded afterwards, “well, I haven’t had a standing birth in awhile.”  He was completely unfazed by the whole thing.  He simply handed her the baby and helped her to the bed.  Some of her friends responded with “he let you give birth standing up??”  Why yes.  And she trusted he would support whatever position she chose.  

Do not be afraid to switch care providers if your intuition is screaming that he/she will not support your choices.  Be tenacious about finding someone who will.  Birth is important.  It is.  How you are made to feel during birth is important. 

**Great scene, isn’t it?  All I could do was crawl between doctor and toilet to slide a pad under her and then crawl back out to grab the camera.  Space was tight and it all went down quickly.  I think Dr. Polo Shirt only got one glove on.

8 responses »

  1. fist raised! that phrase is the one phrase I hear above all others that I near loathe. I find my mind tripping over itself to respond to it. And again, you hit it dead on. thank you, ma’am!

  2. Love it!! Isn’t Dr. Polo Shirt great!! I wonder what will happen this time with us, Dr. Polo Shirt, and you. 😉

  3. This is fantastic! Love DPS (Dr. Polo Shirt)! He’s so supportive. As are you 🙂

  4. “Let you” drives me mad. Along with ‘allowed’. I often get asked ‘will I be allowed to….’ from women. Worse is midwives or student midwives saying ‘and we allowed her to…’
    This is not just a birth thing either. When people enter hospitals they act like they are in prison asking if they are ‘allowed’ home, waiting for permission to eat, drink, go home.
    Thanks for the post.

  5. Thanks for stopping by, Rachel. Your blog is fantastic and so informative!

    Elizabeth–it will be a lovely reunion, I’m certain! Ahem, as long as baby Cadence doesn’t pick the week we’re both on vacation…

  6. Thank you for the bold-font “Do not be affraid to switch care providers”!!! This is so important, but for some reason is often the last thing that women consider. I think society teaches us to feel inferior to doctors, that questioning their practices is not respecting them as the expert, we feel some sort of loyalty to them, or we don’t want to offend an authority figure- whatever it is, women do feel like they have to sacrafice their desires and control of the birth experience in the spirit of “trusting the doctor”. Very sad, because what they aren’t trusting is their instinct.

  7. I just hope the next picture of me is taken from a little more flattering angle. 🙂

  8. Dr. Polo Shirt–next time, I’ll try to be IN the bathroom instead of blocked out!

    Angela–when I was pregnant the first time, I boo-hooed all over the place when I “broke up” with my OB. I was all apologetic and sappy. She looked at me like I was crazy. Then I realized, “oh…she really doesn’t care. It isn’t personal to her at all.”


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