So I posted yesterday's blog post on my neighborhood news group and it warranted a strong attack from a fellow mom. Perhaps I should have added the below blurb at the top of my post. This blurb is from a post on a pregnancy/birth blog about big babies**.
(this is not meant as medical advice, this is to remind moms everywhere that you have rights.... choose to use them! Trust your body! Choose care givers who trust your body! Make educated decisions. Care providers give you information... you have to decipher it and choose how to use it, ask questions, get answers you are satisfied with, if you aren't satisfied remember it is never to late to change to a new care provider or you can choose to just say NO!.) (http://www.pregnancybirthandbabies.com/Big_baby.htm)
I thought the above information was self-evident but I guess it isn't. Why do moms feel so threatened when I provide them with information? Why is a public attack necessary? I know there are many more attacks around the corner given the line of work that I have chosen but I do not relish the thought. What is wrong with helping women trust their bodies? If women would rather not read my posts, they can delete them in their in box or choose not to visit my site. My post was prompted by the sad reality that more and more women have been reaching out to me in my neighborhood informing me that their doctors bring up induction and the big baby worry. In my mind, that is a threat. When an "expert" declares you need to induce because you are going to have a big baby he/she is making a threat, not a suggestion. The threat is, if you don't induce, your baby will "be too big" and you may "tear", "baby may get stuck," etc. (this is what the doctors say to their clients, in reality induction will not reduce complications associated with a big baby). Moms are going to believe the doctor/expert. You may have nagging doubts but in the end most moms seem to choose induction because "if the doctor is telling me I should be induced, I probably need to be induced." My goal is to provide more information so that moms are encouraged to question their care rather than blindly accept the opinion of an expert.
In my first birth, when the doctor asked me if I was ready to have a cesarean, she did so after several comments along the lines of "you aren't bringing the baby down," "you aren't going to be able to birth this baby vaginally" etc. I remember her placing her hand inside my vagina while I was pushing and her comments about the ineffectiveness of my pushing (those types of comments certainly don't help a mom push!!!). Of course I consented to the cesarean. Though the question was disguised as a choice, neither I nor my husband felt that we had been given a choice. A doctor told me I couldn't birth my baby vaginally, I didn't know enough about birth to question her statement, so I agreed to go ahead and have a cesarean. For at least a year after the birth I made a story up to myself about how I HAD to have a cesarean, that it was an emergency cesarean (it wasn't an emergency, I was given a "choice," after the doctor left the room the midwife offered that I could have the baby vaginally, though she couldn't "guarantee the condition of the baby" but after the strongly given opinion of the doctor, I couldn't really hear the midwife). If you had suggested that perhaps my cesarean was unnecessary during that first year, I probably would have felt threatened, I may not have been ready to "hear" what you were trying to say, but I would like to think that I would not have attacked the messenger.
* I wrote a follow-up/clarification of this post entitled Thoughts On Blogging.
**Please note, I am not trying to imply that complications are not associated with big babies, I am well aware that there are, but rather that the oft proposed solution, induction, is not the answer. I think it would be much more useful for care providers to tell their clients that their pelvises are ample and that most women will have no problem birthing a big baby.