The buzz around my area birth network is that there is a particular midwife's office in our city that is refusing to accept new patients who are taking the Bradley Method childbirth classes. As if that were not outrageous enough, it is the office that I use! It is the office that delivered BOTH of my Bradley babies and continues to provide my well-woman care. I am in total shock. I am also disgusted. The reason they gave was that what the couples are learning in the classes is "making them" distrust their care providers at a time when "trust is so important". Excuse me?
I am so offended by this that my head is spinning. Bradley classes provide couples with facts. Couples use those facts to decide how they would like to give birth. They then become interested in how to advocate for themselves in a hospital setting so that they may give birth the way that they want. If your couples do not trust you, that is your fault. It is your responsibility to cultivate a relationship of support and confidence. Are we on some sort of Mormon cult or Amish compound where education is considered a sin? It is not an adult's job to be a mindless, compliant drone while you rip their baby out of them as soon as possible so that you can go home or the room can be used by the next patient in line. The labor and delivery wing of a hospital is not an assembly line.
I could write on this for HOURS. I am so excited to start teaching my first Bradley Method series this weekend. I hope the couples leave feeling so empowered that they argue with any doctor who tries to direct them like servants or treats them as an inconvenience when their labor goes "too long". A doctor's goal is to end a labor with a live baby and a live mother. My goal is the end a labor with a healthy baby and an elated mother. There is a difference but both are very possible.
Now, go read this and get as revved up as I am! It is not about my story here, but it is certainly reminiscent. Whether or not you even want a natural childbirth, the point is that you deserve honest information and support from your healthcare provider. And if you go into labor having taken no childbirth classes or doing no research, believe me when I tell you that you are not getting those things. Your OB/midwife/doula should be throwing books and magazines and websites at you, encouraging you to carefully plan and prepare for the kind of birth that you and your partner want. Will everything turn out the way you want it? Of course not...but that is no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Now, have a smile - compliments of my cousin ;)