Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rights of the Birthing Woman

Between doctors being quick to the draw and women needing better understanding, Cesarean section rates are on the rise.
According to ABC News, "It is now the most common surgical procedure in American hospitals: one in every three babies in the U.S. now come into the world by caesarian section."

What we need here, ladies is information.

Here is a list of Rights of Childbearing Women that will come in handy:


* Every woman has the right to information about the professional identity and qualifications of those involved with her care, and to know when those involved are trainees.*

* Every woman has the right to full and clear information about benefits, risks and costs of the procedures, drugs, tests and treatments offered to her, and of all other reasonable options, including no intervention.* She should receive this information about all interventions that are likely to be offered during labor and birth well before the onset of labor.

* Every woman has the right to accept or refuse procedures, drugs, tests and treatments, and to have her choices honored. She has the right to change her mind.* (Please note that this established legal right has been challenged in a number of recent cases.)

* Every woman has the right to freedom of movement during labor, unencumbered by tubes, wires or other apparatus. She also has the right to give birth in the position of her choice.*

Check out the website for more info.

I have attended births and have heard stories from friends, and I will not lie. It can be a fight. These rights exist, but medical staff tend to be more content when the laboring mother is nicely tucked away on her bed without a voice, cut and done so they can leave at their shift's end.

The fear factor is a major manipulation tool to get the woman to comply without questions. To think fast on one's feet is not easy when one's baby is 'at stake.' But this does not need to be. That is one reason it is VITAL to have a doula/labor coach as a support for the woman at birth.

After seeing 20 minutes of normal fetal monitoring, staff are usually willing to unhook the device. If they don't offer it, the mother can request it.

Labor pain increases when the woman is lying on her back. So once, the fetal monitoring plugs are off, get up and move!! The gravity will greatly work to her advantage in terms of pain reduction, positioning the baby correctly, and letting the body find its rhythm.

With the hospital setting being often a foreign and intrusive space for the birthing woman, I feel home births with a qualified mid-wife is the best way to go. And many women feel the same way. I mentioned it to a friend recently, and she recoiled in horror. "Birth at home?!" And yet, that is how it was done before our "civilized" society...

Yet, today we have the backing of technology. It is even BETTER than how it was!

I am all for medical intervention when it is needed. But the fact is the hospital setting is its own battleground...

Know our rights and know what works.

G-d bless!

Check it out:



1 comment:

Miriam said...

Great post! Women, learn this before the end of your pregnancy!