Saturday, October 27, 2012

Laboring under misconceptions

Have you seen this going around on Facebook yet? I saw it the other day, and it really ticked me off:

"Can I labor over there?
Can I labor on the chair?
No! No labor over there!
Don’t labor on the chair!
Sit there, sit there, you will see,
You must labor with this IV!
I do not like this sharp IV!
I need to move, to dance, to pee!
...Doctor, Doctor, let me be;
Say, get your pesky hands off me!
No! You can’t move, or dance, or pee!
You must labor with this IV!
Not over there, not on the chair,
Not with the ball, you’ll have a fall!
Can I labor with a doula?
Can I use some calendula?
Can I labor on hands and knees?
Can I birth just how I please?
No! Not with a doula!
No – what’s calendula?
Lay back, lay back, count to ten,
Breathe – he he hoo – push again!
No thank you, doctors, nurse, and crew,
I’ll go and labor without you.
I’ll labor here, I’ll labor there!
In the shower – everywhere!
I’ll labor standing, squatting, sitting
I’ll labor on my couch while knitting!
I’ll have a doula –I’ll have three!
They’ll let me eat and bring me tea.
Try them! Try them! You will see!
You can go shove that darn IV."
- author unknown
This is in no way representative of my three birth experiences in a hospital, or of the stories submitted here, and it irks me that this is being passed around as what typically happens at a hospital. (I'm not saying that it never does, but I have yet to have a woman relate an experience like this to me that happened more recently than the 1970s.)

The part that struck me as funny about this is that I specifically did all of those things in my last labor, with Natalie -- I asked for a birth ball, and they brought me one promptly.  I asked to be in the shower, and they happily unhooked my IV (I was GBS-positive) so I could go stand in there as long as I liked. I didn't have a doula, because I didn't want or need one, but I had one at my first birth, and everyone was very welcoming of her. I don't recall sitting in a chair, but I DO recall doing some bellydancing-type hip circles quite a lot. I pushed when and how I wanted, in the position I wanted. And yes, I most certainly peed. (Good lord, where is this hospital that doesn't let laboring women PEE, for crying out loud?)

If you are passing around this sort of thing, please call and find out what your local hospital actually DOES. If they are not allowing laboring women out of bed, and most particularly if they are not letting them even PEE, then take it up with them -- please. You have my blessing. Heck, drop me a line, and I'll write them a letter, too.

But please be aware that hospitals that have these sorts of policies are the tiny, tiny minority nowadays in the U.S., and you are in great likelihood spreading misinformation in the name of "educating" women.


Becki Robins said...

Also, it's really crappy rhyming and even worse rhythm.

Laura Anderson said...

Not my hospital experience at all. I did have a medically necessary induction, and after several hours and no progress, my nurse suggested that I consider pain relief. That epidural actually helped me progress, and my daughter's birth was a beautiful experience. Nothing was done without my consent; I was free to ask questions and they didn't make me feel stupid for asking; and I got to hold my daughter skin-to-skin as soon as she was born. I have nothing bad to say about my hospital experience--true, I wish it hadn't been necessary to induce, but life happens and you've just got to do the best you can.

Anonymous said...

I made a comment on facebook that there are thousands of women dying world wide every day , for want of the very medical care that these " natural childbirthers " are happy to scorn, even with calendula !
I was told to " lighten up' , " it's only a joke " !
I think it's both untrue & disrespectful to those women who come to harm for what they call " unneccessay intervention" .
One even commented that " with all the money they save here " ( in Australia ) " they could use that for medical procedures Over there "
as though scans , bloods , antenatal care , the avaialability of blood banking etc count for nothing !

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