The Doula's Ripple Effect

Recently, I blogged about the importance of finding the right provider, and how that's not always easy. This is made more difficult if your needs change, or if you overlook a small detail in your discussions, only to learn late in your third tri that your one missed point is a deal breaker with a doctor or CNM you thought you loved. This is very stressful position to be in, when moms are often 'nesting' and needing to know they are in good hands, and all is ready.

I recently helped a client in this particular situation get a new office whom she and DH are VERY happy with, and now things are smooth as silk again. There was a one question deal-breaker, that was somehow overlooked, and when it came to light, we were 33 weeks or so, and not happy. I am pleased, though, that she stood her ground, and found someone who could offer her more, because I know it will make her birth day much better. Well, this mom emailed me again this week to let me know that her late term switch inspired her friend to do the same.

This friend of hers walked into her OBs office with a 'birth plan' or something like it, and the doctor refused to even look at it. He then went ON about how OFFENDED (yes, actually offended) he was that she would bring something like this in to him. He has been delivering babies for (blah blah blah), and what does she know about it as a first time mom? How DARE she question 'his majesty'. Thankfully, this woman had a very level head, and said, 'thanks but no thanks', and walked.

She is now on the search for her new obstetrical mr. or mrs. right, and has told my client that her last minute search's success gave her the strength to stand up for what she believed in and get more for herself.

Now it upsets me to the Nth degree that there are ACTUALLY medical professionals out there who behave this way. God Complex, much? Since when is informed consent a frivolity, and since when does a woman not have a right to ask questions and make requests about what's done to her body when she's in labor?? Those outdated people who see birth as 'frought with danger... but we have the technology to save you from these perils', and who see it as a 'medical procedure' and not a life-changing, spiritual, beautiful right of passage, well, they make me ill. But all we can do is say NO, and go to someone who will respect us.

We need to be educated consumers, and to vote with our dollar.... and it is my hope that more and more women will do this, after hearing stories like my clients', and being encouraged by their doulas and other support professionals, that these outdated control freaks will soon step aside-- forced into early retirement due to public pressure for an open-minded, respectful physician.

I take this as a good sign-- that someone I don't even know is going to get the birth she wants because of encouragement I gave to someone else. So while this is a job that comes with many frustrations, it's important to take moments like this revel in the ripple effects your empowerment has on the community you live in. Personally, I couldn't be happier with my small role in the outcomes for these two women. And it has me pumped up to keep going, and to change the world a bit more each time!
Go Doula!!! Go Women!!! Go Birth!!!

I hope the sidelines are always this powerful!


Anonymous said...
November 23, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Awesome blog Colleen! :)

kelly said...
November 24, 2009 at 11:32 AM

That friend found a new provider and could not be happier. And Colleen sells herself way to short! She had a huge doing in my switch. If it wasn't for Colleen I would probably stressed myself out so much that I went into premature labor! Colleen is a super doula!!

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