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Birthzilla? I'm happy to wear the badge

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#26 BetteBoop

Posted 22 June 2012 - 01:14 PM

QUOTE (peebs @ 22/06/2012, 08:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wouldn't think that needs to be put in writing.

This is what I think. Respect for the woman should be the default setting and not reliant on written instructions. Besides, if medical professionals are going to disrespect a human being's wishes, are they going to respect what's written on a piece of paper?

I think the overwhelming majority of women who have birth plans remain open minded about what can happen on the day. In my antenatal class, we were all helped to write one.

Labelling every single woman with a plan on how they would like birth to go as a control freak is attention-seeking trolling.

Mia is making a nice little living out of writing divisive blogs pitting women against women.  Sisterhood is indeed powerful, unless there is a buck to be made.

#27 Chelli

Posted 22 June 2012 - 01:17 PM

This thread has made me think about something I never really had clarity on before.

I've had four children, but only a birth plan for one. It was for my second child. I'd had a great experience with my first labour and delivery even though I was terribly naive and there were some things that didn't quite go to plan. On the whole though, I felt comfortable, supported and coped pretty well. I now believe that had a lot to do with things such as the Know Your Midwife (KYM) program, and the fact that I was at a hospital that was my local one which I love.

My second child was born in an unfamiliar hospital in an unfamiliar town and my one dealing with the Ob there had me vowing that they were never going to come anywhere near me again. I guess looking back on it, I didn't feel comfortable with the circumstances and I definitely didn't feel comfortable with the medical practitioner. I thought at the time of writing the birth plan (which included that the Ob was not to come anywhere near me unless a case of emergency and if that happened, a midwife was to accompany me at all times) that I was just putting things into place because I'd had some experience with the whole labour/delivery thing.

All turned out to be fine and it was a very positive (and Ob-less) experience. My third child was born in the place my first one was, with the same beautiful midwife and I felt very comfortable again with not having a birth plan.

I think the point of me having a birth plan was a way to have some say in a situation where I felt less empowered. I completely support having one, and definitely don't think it makes women become birthzillas.

#28 kelly77

Posted 22 June 2012 - 02:52 PM

I had a birth preference list for my VBA2C because obviously I was wanting to achieve something that is not the norm in most hospitals. I had both my C-sections under general anaesthetic and was wanting to see my baby being born. If I had not had a birth plan I would have been having to try to answer questions and decline interventions that I had discussed with the hospital OBs numerous times during my pregnancy.  By the time I got to hospital the midwives had read my preferences, knew to allow my doula to come in with me and were very respectful of my wishes.  We had a great birth experience and both my husband and I were the first to touch and hold our baby! Without our birth preferences things could have been completely different.

#29 Feral2202

Posted 22 June 2012 - 02:55 PM

I find it hard to believe that there are obstetricians and midwives who treat people the way that we hear they are treated again and again.

I had an easy birth centre labour with very little medical input and no interference, which may have had a huge impact on the way my body worked. My midwife noticed that things were progressing much better when I was alone with my DH, so she left the room and listened from outside until he came calling for her.

I don't want to think about how different things might have been if someone had been telling me what to wear, what position I had to be in and that they had to be interfering in some way.

I wish everyone could have the experience I had (noting that not all babies cooperate in the same way that my DD did) and these horror stories were a thing of the past.

#30 Anna_in_Canberra

Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:24 PM

A healthy baby shouldn't be the gold standard. A healthy baby and healthy mother should be the gold standard and part of that is remembering the small human touches, even under emergency circumstances, that can be the difference between a difficult/emergency birth and a terrifying source of ongoing trauma.

Exactly. I had a difficult birth with my daughter which resulted in a 3rd degree tear (which I felt, despite the pudendal block, and the pain was the worst I've ever experienced). Full recovery took months. I didn't appreciate being told that "a healthy baby is all that matters".

The OB I had with my daughter turned out not to have the best bedside manner. I chose my OB more carefully the next time, and found his reassuring manner made a big difference to my experience.

Edited by Anna_in_Canberra, 22 June 2012 - 04:26 PM.

#31 liveworkplay

Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:39 PM

These discussions always illistrate the number of people who have no idea what a "birth plan" (yes the name IS misleading) really is rolleyes.gif

OP, I thought Mia's article was a load of excretement. She obviously falls into the "has no idea" camp.

ETA: When I describe the bith of my second DD to people, most assume that it was a highly traumatic experience. They are shocked when I tell them that I found it quite the opposite, that because my wishes regarding communication of interventions etc etc on my birth plan was followed to the letter (including not wanting superflous people in the room or excessive noise if possible) by every person that walked through the door, it was a very positive experience.

A birth plan isnt a rigid "this mustb happen or else" it is just one more way of communication with your birth team.

Edited by liveworkplay, 22 June 2012 - 04:43 PM.

#32 Cat Burglar

Posted 23 June 2012 - 07:42 PM

I think a lot of people have taken Mia's article the wrong way. I read it as a response to people who think they are superior because of the way they birth, eg, somehow better because they did it drug free etc. I think I sympathize with that sentiment because I have come across this attitude. The 'birthzilla' bit means somebody who badgers somebody else about it, not just somebody who has a birth plan. Well thats how I interprepted the article.

I have also come across a lot of people who think obs and middies do things 'for fun' and because it was 'easier' which I think is off the mark. Docs and middies make mistakes, they are human and birth is unpredictable. But  they are trained professionals who do things for a reason, according to best medical practice. Unfortunately some women have really suffered trauma during birth but its not always due to neglect or incompetence.

If people have a birth plan, however long or unusual it is and nothing wrong with that and I hope they can get the birth they want.

ETA, I find it funny people say Mia has 'no idea' about birth, like they are the only ones who can know. Mia has had 3 kids so she must know SOMETHING about birth, just because her opinion is different doesnt mean she 'knows nothing' - of course there is probably much she could learn, as could we all.

Edited by Soccer Mum, 23 June 2012 - 07:48 PM.

#33 Guest_bottle~rocket_*

Posted 24 June 2012 - 09:30 PM

Once again, I'm sorry that you had such a terrible experience Prue.  Your comment about not being able to wear your own nightgown reminded me of being ordered into a hospital gown when I arrived in the delivery suite!  Not that it mattered in the scheme of things, but just symbolic of how we are forced into that patient role.

QUOTE (opethmum @ 22/06/2012, 09:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For my DD, I went in with the attitude of it does not matter how my body is used to get my DD born safely into this world. I did a birth plan a few weeks prior but then I discovered the futility of it, my DD born safely into this world mattered the most. If I was going to be ripped to shreds so be it.
When it did come time for her to be born, I went in the hospital with view to becoming my own discovery channel and it did not matter one bit how my DD was brought into this world as long as she was born alive and healthy.

I find this statement really sad.  What is wrong with wanting the best for your baby and for yourself?  Do women really have to accept the implication that we have so little value that being “ripped to shreds” is of no consequence, as long as the baby is healthy?

Surely it is OK to value and love ourselves as well as our children. Indeed as parents how can we love and respect our children if we don't love and respect ourselves?  

QUOTE (Sevenyears @ 22/06/2012, 09:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The whole 'it doesn't matter as long as the baby's healthy thing' annoys me immensely.  Only an extremist would deny that the most overwhelmingly important outcome is a healthy baby, but we all have the capacity to hope for more than one thing.  Since when don't a woman's body and emotions matter?  Since she becomes a mother?  I'm more than happy to reject the suggestion that motherhood comes with even a slight loss of personhood.

A healthy baby shouldn't be the gold standard.  A healthy baby and healthy mother should be the gold standard and part of that is remembering the small human touches, even under emergency circumstances,  that can be the difference between a difficult/emergency birth and a terrifying source of ongoing trauma.

I couldn't agree more, Sevenyears has expressed it beautifully.

#34 Guest_bottle~rocket_*

Posted 24 June 2012 - 09:35 PM

I really liked this blog post in response to the original "Birthzilla" article.


#35 NJo

Posted 24 December 2012 - 06:56 PM

Hi Prue, I totally agree with you. I had a birth plan because I gave birth in a private hospital and wanted to avoid interventions if possible. It really helped my husband and I understand each others wishes for the birth and instigated lots of useful discussions, this was the best thing it did for us. Unfortunately, I had to convince my obstetrician that it was useful and that in the case of something going wrong I would be flexible and listen to her advice. In the end she saw it for what it was, a list of what we wanted, assuming that everything went well, not an inflexible, mandatory requirement of what had to happen. We were lucky, things went nearly to plan, the plan really helped, but also having a private midwife advocate for our wishes made a massive difference. Avoiding medicalisation and getting what you need in support is hard work and expensive, but it shouldn't be. We shouldn't be made to feel bad about requesting what we want at this vulnerable time.

#36 Kay1

Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:10 PM

I had a loose plan for my first. It ended in c-section which I had not considered and I felt very much treated like a piece of anonymous meat. Very rushed (not due to any medical emergency or distress) and disrespectful in many ways. Totally disempowering experience.

For my second I had a new OB. I aimed for a VBAC and had birth plans for both scenarios.  I went through a long labour but I ended up with another c section but felt totally respected and supported and it was a very healing experience. original.gif Was so embarrassing though as I accidentally gave my OB DH's version of the birth plan in my appointment.....that's all I'll say about that. blush.gif blush.gif

For my third I had a different OB again, it was a planned c-section but I had some requests. For eg. "anyone who is involved in the surgery please say hi and introduce themselves first." and "Please no chatting about things other than the surgery/baby during the surgery" "Please tell me what is happening (within reason)". Yes you would not think you need to specify this but you do! My OB was lovely. He asked me to write them out for him so he could have it on file. He made a point of looking over it as I was brought into the OR and made sure everything I had asked for happened with no fuss at all. It made the world of difference to me and was not in anyway onerous for him.

I do kind of see what Mia Freedman is getting at though. A friend of mine had a great birth but was given a small episiotomy which she didn't want and felt was unnecessary. She went on about it for years. I think sometimes you have to accept that plans don't always come off 100%.

Edited by Kay1, 18 January 2013 - 08:12 PM.

#37 cinnabubble

Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:12 PM

Aaaaw, Mez. You're back.


#38 StopTheGoats

Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:41 PM

More shaming. Why does Mia Freedman have an opinion on what I do with my bits. Am I meant to care?

#39 seayork2002

Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:52 PM

To me having my son here is worth more than anything in the world, how that happened I don't (or didn't care) life is too short, a healthy baby/birth was all I cared about.

Why add stress about 'perfection' to the list of what a birth is?

#40 bettymm

Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:57 PM

I think the best thing about a Birth Plan is just sitting down and thinking about the birth, what might happen, what you would like to happen, what happens if things turn pear shaped, discussing various birth scenarios and outcomes.  I think it forces you to do your research a bit about the whole birth process so youre not bombarded with questions and things coming up that you hadnt thought about.  

I know in my case, alot of the trauma I felt after the difficult birth of my second child  was just wishing that i had stuck up for myself and gone with my instincts a little more.  I am in no way saying i know more about the birth process than a midwife or obstetrician but I think , this is a major major event in your life , and one that you will think about and be asked questions about forever, so to me it makes sense to do a little homework about it first.

#41 Guest_bottle~rocket_*

Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:02 PM

QUOTE (***MEZ*** @ 18/01/2013, 08:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow, never thought I'd see the day when I'd agree with Mia Freedman. #Firstworldproblems

Expecting to be treated with respect and dignity is a first world problem?

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