Sunday, August 29, 2010

Knowing is half the battle.

This is incredible to me.  This is a sign from the Aspen Women's Center in Utah.  Apologies for the large graphic, but I wanted to be sure the text was readable.

This sign is just incredible to me.  Don't bring a birth plan?  Don't hire a doula?  Don't use the Bradley Method?  Clearly their concerns don't lie with the "quality of their patient's deliveries" nor the "welfare and health of [the] unborn child."  Obviously there's something else at play here.  Is it the fear of a woman who wants to make her own choices in childbirth?  A desire to short-circuit any attempts to enlist the assistance of someone who could advocate for the birthing mother, and perhaps clash with doctors and hospital staff?  Are women who would use a birth plan or employ the Bradley Method more likely to reflect on their birth experience, and therefore more likely to examine any deficiencies in their treatment and complain, or even sue? 

I'd gladly leave a hospital that would call this their policy.

While the sign is a sad statement, how many hospitals have an unwritten, unspoken version of this same sign that dictates how women experience birth behind their doors?  When this policy came to light on parenting and childbirth message boards and blogs in the fall of 2009, there was a lot of outrage at Aspen Women's Center over this policy.  While the policy seems extremely short-sighted, I see the sign as a breath of fresh air:  Aspen Women's Center puts its bias out there for their patients to see so that they can make an informed transfer to a facility more willing to accomodate their very reasonable request to be an active decision-maker in their own birth experiences.  Not all hospitals are that up front, and the time to find out about policies like this are the day you walk into the facility's door for your first appointment and not the day you are there to give birth.



Annie Y said...

That picture disgusts me! I cannot believe that these types of things are allowed to happen. Remind me to never visit Utah while I am pregnant!

Devon F said...

Hi! I saw your guest post on and decided to check you out. Since it's Follow Friday, I'd be glad to follow you.

I think that sign is a disgrace. When my wife was pregnant we made sure we both were involved in the birth and we did our research to have the birth of our daughter the way we wanted. Unfortunately due to some health issues my wife had we couldn't do exactly as we wanted, but came very close to it. Every woman should should have a say so in how she wants to do the birth. Talk to your doctor, if you don't like what he or she has to say, find another doctor. After all it is her body. The whole reason that sign is up is to try to cut down on the malpractice claims.