Ugh. That’s how I feel everytime I get another press release from the Big Push for Midwives, or see another blog post from a doula or midwifery blog about what ACOG–the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology is up to. Just ugh. The latest: a totally biased segment on the Today show. To be honest, I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. If you want to see for yourself, it’s here.
Oh, and then there was the internet campaign to get stories about the “problem” of desire for out of hospital births. And before that was when they announced they would “allow” women in labor to drink modest amounts of clear liquids, but no food.
They’ve already GOT A MONOPOLY on birth in the US. 99 freaking percent of women are giving birth in the hospitals they control. That’s not enough apparently, because they are afraid. They are scared of all of us, of all the folks out there who are catching on about a different way to be, about how they can escape the hospital and reclaim some autonomy. They’re afraid of the 1% of women who have caught on, who give birth outside the hospital and away from their surgeons.
Still, because they are scared and they are more worried about the professional interests of doctors than the desires of their patients, they continue with their smear campaigns. The one thing that gives me comfort is that their fear is an indicator of our power. So let’s use it folks. People are catching on, and that is real.
The one positive thing that ACOG did recently was admit that their practices–which they say are fueled by fear of being sued–“ultimately hurt patients.” I would say that’s not the whole story, ACOG, but I will give you that our litigious society (and crappy doctor/patient relationship with little trust) makes things worse. Jill at Unnecesarean has more on this, but I would just add that midwives are also suffering from this litigious society and the fear of being sued. Often it’s not even the parents they care for who sue them–but local doctors who disagree with their practices. You can read about one of these midwives in my piece in The American Prospect. Again, she took this one doctor’s fear of her and turned it into action–helping to pass legislation in April to legalize the practice of CPMs there.