For those of you who don't know who Nancy Wainer is, she wrote Silent Knife and Open Season. She is a midwife, coined the term VBAC, and has helped many many women have good, safe, and satisfying births. She is a blessing to all childbearing women!
So anyway, I contacted her because I heard that she had stated something about doulas not making a difference in the way women give birth. I was surprised, so I sought her out for an explanation. You can get her phone number right off her website, so it wasn't too hard to find her ;0)
Anway, she explained that doulas have their hearts in the right place, but are unable to make much of a difference in our birth culture because for one, women will still turn to their doctor for all medical advice, since that is what they are used to doing, and two, hospitals will not change the way they practice even if they do tolerate the presence of doulas.
So I asked her what a doula can do to be more effective and she said that she need to band together, refuse to attend births at hospitals with bad practices, and educate women on the truth about homebirth and interventions through radio, tv, and newspapers, and putting up flyers anywhere that young mothers go.
She also recommended that I find a video by Dr. Marsden Wagner that is called "_________, Science, and Mothers". It is about 18 minutes long and talks about homebirth. She says it is a great video to show your clients.
Nancy says to tell women to throw out all childbirth books except for these: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, the Five Standards for Safe Childbearing, and Pursuing the Birth Machine.
I was encouraged by our conversation, and felt redirected to work on what is most important in changing the way women give birth. I hope this information helps you, and if you have any questions for her, I'm sure she'd love to take your call!
by .Leah.March 4, 2008 at 10:01 AMI suppose my hospital was a rarity then. I was supposed to have a midwife, she broke her foot. I had a Dr who respected I was a midwife patient. My doula was so awsome. and the hospital respected her postion also. They let her work and all the dr did was hold out her hands to catch the baby. My birth went just how I planed other than my midwife not being there. LOL
by NaomidoulaMarch 4, 2008 at 7:51 PMThat is great, I'm glad to hear you found such a wonderful hospital. Fortunately there are hospitals out there that work like that, and I wish there were more. Nancy wasn't saying that doulas shouldn't attend hospital births, but rather they should be more insistent about making sure women know the full scope of the effect of interventions, and that attending hospitals with caregivers that have high rates of interventions will only make it more difficult to avoid them.