A question from today’s private session: “But why do they have women on their backs in a hospital, if forward leaning positions are so good?”
From a new mom: “I wish they’d have told me to get up and move, wouldn’t that have changed the baby’s position?”
I think many of us, go into a hospital birth expecting the doctor to help us change positions, suggest using comfort techniques, give us encouragement, and stay with us during labor. We read about these things in our books, and hear about the benefits of such things in our childbirth classes. However, it is unfair and inappropriate to expect your OB to do any of those things.
First and foremost, your OB is a surgeon. Surgeons are trained to look for pathology. In other words, their job is to seek out problems, try to preempt them and fix them when they do occur. It is their job to make sure you have the best outcome: healthy baby, and healthy mama. It is not their job to make you comfortable. They are trained in medical school to observe and monitor a patient and interpret those findings so that they may prescribe the optimal treatment, medication or procedure. It is their job to intervene. They are not trained in “normal” birth.
So, to expect an OB to do something other than their job description is unreasonable on our parts. To get angry at the OB for not being empathetic; for saying something mean; obnoxious; snarky; etc.; for wishing they’d suggested other positions for labor; or for doing too many interventions is, again, unreasonable. Why should they do anything other than what they were trained to do?
When they do go above and beyond their job description, we should praise them and write glowing letters to the hospital. When they do nothing other than what they are supposed to do, we can not be angry with them, as it is our own expectations that were false.
If you want a model of care, where you have help, support, guidance and interventions only when truly needed, not to preempt a problem, then you are looking for a midwife, not an OB. If you want to find that middle ground, hire a doula. Bring her to the hospital with you so as you labor you have the guidance and support, and the OB to catch the baby. Just don’t expect your OB to be a doula or a midwife. It’s just not her job.