Friday, October 30, 2009

Ghouls and Doulahs

Halloween is just a few hours away. Are you scared yet? If not, here's something to shiver your timbers.

This sign is from a clinic in a town where I went to university. I am SO glad I didn't get pregnant when I was living there. It was before I knew anything about birth and I could easily have gone to such a place and not known any better. Anyway, the internet has been buzzing about this sign. Here's just a few pieces to whet your appetite:

Still, even if there's a back story and the docs aren't really that bad, they certainly could have come up with a better sign! Like actually spell "doula" right for starters..

If you're not already scared by the "no doulah" sign, then read this OB's Birth Plan. It's so bad that I wonder if it could possibly be real. I read through the original thread and it does seem legit--as legit as something can be on the internet! 


  1. dun dun dun....

    I for one think it mighty considerate for them to post that right there for all to see. You'll never get a complain of the "bait and switch" that so many of my clients complained of. they would be promised to be "let" to have a low-tech, natural childbirth and be bullied into a pit, epidural and sometimes a c/s.

    I say a big "thank you" to those with the thoughtfulness to let you kow right from the start where they stand!

  2. Make sure you add this LOL

  3. The thing that gets me most about this sign is that is says "Because we care...blah blah blah" How does not allowing birth plans and doulas mean that you care? Isn't there enough evidence out there to support that doulas actually HELP?!? It is discouraging to think of all the new moms out there that have no idea and this is the office they end up at.

  4. well i agree with Henny! at least they don't spring it on you in the delivery room. you know what you're getting into and given the chance to run the other way!

  5. Thanks for the linkage!

    I do GENERALLY agree with the overall "at least they're honest" sentiment, but mostly in the damning-with-faint-praise sense.

  6. Up in northern Utah we are having issues also. One hospital is telling us we have to have proof that we are a doula before they will let us in. Another one has a "doula contract". I will post it in my blog sometime soon. The parents and doula have to sign it. It's ridiculous!

  7. this makes me want to scream. I would have stood there stunned...then ran. =)

  8. I blogged about this at this week, too. It's scary stuff indeed. Doooolaaahhhhhs! (Boo!)

  9. They're not actually being "honest" at all.

    Lie #1: "My practice approach is to use the latest advances in modern obstetrics."

    Lie #2: "Many birth plans conflict with approved modern obstetrical techniques and guidelines."

    Lie #3: "I follow the guidelines of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology which is the organization responsible for setting the standard of care in the United States."

    Lie #4: "IV access during labor is mandatory" (hello, informed consent is mandatory)

    Lie #5: "Continuous monitoring of your baby’s heart rate during the active phase (usually when your cervix is dilated 4cm) is mandatory" *(ditto)

    Lie #6: "The decision as whether and when to perform this procedure is made at my discretion." (ditto)

    Lie #7: "The most recent scientific data suggest that epidurals are safe and do not interfere with labor in anyway even if administered very early in labor."

    Lie #8: " Your legs will be positioned in the standard delivery stirrups. This is the most comfortable position for you."

    Lie #9: "It also provides maximum space in your pelvis, minimizing the risk of trauma to you and your baby during delivery."

    Lie #10: "an episiotomy may become necessary at my discretion to minimize the risk of trauma to you and your baby." (again with the informed consent"

    Lie #11: "The rate of maternal and fetal complications increases rapidly after 39 weeks."

    Lie #12: "inducing labor, when done appropriately and at the right time, is safe, and does not increase the amount of pain or the risk of complications or the need for a c-section."

    Lie #13: "The decision as to whether and when to perform this procedure is made at my discretion and it is not negotiable"

    This isn't anything approaching honesty on the part of the doctor. The fact that he handed it to her *husband* - says it all really. He clearly doesn't think a woman counts at all in a birth.

  10. Have not heard of the pregnant woman's bill of rights?? That goes against all rights of a pregnant or laboring woman...I don't know how they legally can do that!


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