Well Rounded Birth Prep

Well Rounded Birth Prep

Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Birth as seen by a childbirth educator's husband

My husband Rick BCC'ed me yesterday on an email he sent to an acquaintance who has been posting on FaceBook that she is expecting her first baby. To preface his analogy, my hubby is a mortgage lender and the acquaintance is a realtor.

Here it is:

"I'll preface this by saying I realize this is none of my business. You don't have to respond if you don't want to, and I won't bring it up again if you don't reply... ok?!? I'm only sending you this message because it's information you won't hear elsewhere unless you're really looking for it.

"Anyway, let's start by putting this in real estate terms, since you're very familiar with the industry. We can agree that you know WAY more about real estate than the average person, right? You know things about buying and selling property that most people will never know, and you know how to avoid the pitfalls and potential problems that can arise, simply because you have lots of experience and it's something you're interested in and passionate about. So, hypothetically, if you had a friend that was buying a home, you'd want to give them information that would be helpful to them-- especially if you thought they might be going down a road that could hurt them in the long run. If your friend was considering the purchase of an overpriced home that you KNEW had foundation problems and was located in a bad neighborhood, you'd hope they would seek advice from you before they wrote a contract. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed not to offer advice, even if they didn't come to you for it! Suppose you approached your friend, and brought-up your concerns about the price/location and foundation, and the friend said-- "Don't worry about it. I trust the seller!" You'd be a little concerned in this case, because you'd realize that the seller is the one party that has the most to gain, by your friend feeling comfortable with the property he's selling.

"Pregnancy/childbirth in today's society is very much like this story. Many hospitals and doctors are not giving advice that is best for the Momma and Baby. At best they're simply teaching you how to be a compliant patient, and at worse, they're giving advice and conducting procedures that lead to an increase in their bottom line. Remember, they're in it to make a living. A "complicated", medicated, surgical birth pays a lot more than the alternative. Do you realize that some of our local hospitals have over a 50% C-section rate? I actually had a friend post on FB the other day, that their doctor scheduled their C-Section for last Friday, because he was going to be golfing on Saturday and didn't want to be unavailable in case she went into labor! That doesn't sound like it was in the best interest of anyone but him! Did the mother know the risks of a C-section to mother and baby? Do you know the risks?Along those lines, did you know that early-term ultrasounds have been linked to an increased likelihood of a miscarriage? This probably wasn't told to you yet, but why wasn't it? You might still opt to have one done, but did they tell you the risks? Informed consent is one thing, but concealing information and/or risks is quite another. There are a many, many things that a new mother should know-- even at this stage of a pregnancy. The things best for Mother and Baby are not usually taught by the hospital and their associated birth classes etc, because they are a business that profits by getting you in-and-out as quickly (and as costly) as possible, so that they can move on to the next paying customer. It's important that you get information from a source that doesn't stand to gain or lose from your informed decision(s).

"To that end, I'd strongly, STRONGLY urge you to talk to my wife Sarah, about her pregnancy/child-birth class. Because I think so highly of you and your family, I really wish you would consider this before too much longer. Lest you think this is just a commercial for her business, I'd even offer that she'll do the class for you for no money (you should still pay her if you're amazed at what you learn though!). She is entertaining and knowledgeable and just a wealth of information. She is extremely passionate about what she teaches, and she can give you an unbiased education that you won't receive elsewhere, because she doesn't have to protect a birth-center or hospital, and she doesn't have to help contribute to their bottom-line. She teaches 1 night a week classes for a month, or will even do a one day, private, in-home class. The reason I'm sticking my neck-out here, is that I've seen so many friends get screwed-over because they "trust their doctor." To be fair, you might have the best doctor in the country, but just exactly like in the real estate world, you don't know, what you don't know.

"I can't tell you how many times Sarah gets calls from new moms that are having problems/concerns/difficulties with their newborns that could have easily been avoided, if the mother had been better educated during the pregnancy. Just like the example above, of your friend buying a home... it wouldn't be surprising to you if your friend couldn't sell the house later, due to the fact that they paid too much, the house has foundation concerns, and it's in a less-than-desirable neighborhood! You could have told her that before she even bought the house!

"I hope you're not offended by this email. I offer this advice only because you deserve to know. What kind of friend would I be, if your pregnancy/childbirth isn't exactly like you want it to be, when I could have given you the tools to make it better? Sarah's phone number is XXX-XXX-XXXX-- even if you just want to talk about anything childbirth/pregnancy related."

I was so honored that my husband believes in me to the extent that he does. It meant a lot to me that he would say these things.

In case you're wondering, Rick's acquaintance to whom this email was addressed *did* reply to his email. It began, "Thank you for your concern, but I trust my doctor..." We're crossing our fingers that she doesn't end up with a birth story that's another predictable, pre-scripted, iatrogenic catastrophe.


  1. WOW! This is so awesome! Kudos to Rick for believing *with* you, obviously making a personal choice to do things differently for his wife and babies, and for caring enough to speak up to let his friend know of another way. As I have said, if you choose the medical line of care 100%, let it be an informed choice, not a surrender!

  2. Eeeep! That is sticking his neck out quite a bit. I used to sort of have that way of dealing with people...The problem is...he's really suggesting to this woman that she's uneducated when she probably thinks she IS very educated, or doesn't need to be b/c she "trusts" her doctor.

    What I do now...and it seems to be working a little better or at least getting more responses is, instead of saying, "I'm telling you this b/c I care & you don't know any better" I will ask them a question *when they bring it up*.

    Them - Oh, I'm having an ultrasound next week!
    Me - Really? Is the doctor concerned with your baby?
    Them - Oh no, this is just routine, but I'm so excited, I'll get to see the baby for the first time.
    Me - I thought U/S was only for emergencies b/c early U/S has been linked to miscarriages...but I'm sure you're doctor will discuss it with you...or you could ask them about it when you go next week.

    It *sounds* kind of extreme...but then they go home & google like crazy and I might even get an email, text, or phonecall later to go, "Heeey, ya know when you told me that thing about the U/S...can you explain what you're talking about?" Anyone who comes back with questions say they bring it up to their doctor...and get a sputtering answer about, "Well, we need to do this that or the other thing." Some moms go ahead with the ultrasound...but at LEAST they knew they were headed into a risk. And at least they questioned their doctor.

  3. For what it's worth, DH sent me the email *after* he sent it--I didn't know it existed before that. He didn't consult me. But I can guarantee that it wouldn't have "come up in conversation" w/ this momma in a way that would allow hint-dropping & subtlety. There's no subtle way for a man to give pregnancy & birth advice, anyway. :-)

  4. Haha, Sarah! Loved the last comment! I can so relate in that my hubby is always giving his coworkers my phone number and telling them that I teach childbirth classes (he doesn't usually go much beyond that, except to say that we were so glad we took the classes we did).

    And, like you, we both hold our breath and hope that the people we know (who it seems are trying to stay as *in the dark* as possible) will come out unscathed. Unfortunately, this is not the case the majority of the time. And as you can probably attest to, the scathing is usually major abdominal surgery. Oh, and the *emergency* kind, of course :).

  5. Sarah, I figured as much...I don't know how any guy just falls into a conversation with a chick he's not related to about her pregnancy... Let's hope this doctor she "trusts" shakes her confidence just enough to send her back to the email and back to your phone number.

    My bestfriend from highschool (whom I love dearly and is 1 of 9 kids...2 or 3 of them born at home) also "trusted her doctor". She ended up with a c-section and I think I was more upset over HER c-section than mine! Mostly b/c hers could have been avoided if she'd put a little more trust in my advice...and in her body. I wasn't telling her stuff to scare her, I wasn't even very extreme...but her MIL is a nurse. One of *those* nurses who believe in the unfailing ways of medicine & doctors. She did great in labor on her own - 7 cms in a few hours. Then a trip to the hospital, she was confined to bed...and she didn't progress any further. Her husband was talking to his mom as things were going on, "Okay mom, I'll tell her, yeah, the doctor said something about that...okay...we'll do that, too...Okay." Ugh. I have never liked her husband. And I like him less now. She looked to her husband for strength and he bowled her over with what his momma suggested. Blah. I feel like I should mourn or grieve over things like that.


Thank you for taking time to visit my blog. I appreciate your comments.