Thursday, January 22, 2009

A woman's choice???

The following message has been shared with the permission of the (unidentified) midwife who wrote it.

"Just to let you know that I received a first and final warning for the waterbirth that occurred at [hospital] in December. Knowning in my heart that I had done nothing wrong, and the woman is rapt with her birthing experience, is reassuring but I am just left sooo angry at how the whole ordeal was conducted.

"A number of comments that were made to me which have left me hurt and offended. The Don and our unit manager are not midwives so I FELT I had little support. I was told that our governing body and codes and competencies were "airy fairy". When I asked about the woman's chioce I was basically laughed at and said that in an institution we can't afford to be led by what patients want.

"They mentioned homebirths three times in both interviews, which made me cross. In the second interview I stated to the DON that I started to think that this was a personal attack as I know that the obstetrician knows I do homebirths, and she said that they quashed that theory very quickly! So unfortunately there were no congrats in the office. What makes it soooooo good though is that woman is rapt with her birth experience. She came up to me afterwards, gave me a big hug and said that she and her husband had been talking and he mentioned about the amount of money they had spent on the obstetrician and she said that it was all worth it just to have you, []. I have one rapt woman, who is empowered, feels great and intact!!! I just wanted to tell you what had happened."

1 comment:

Joy Johnston said...

In some ways I think the management is right - they aren't interested in doing what the 'patient' wants - unless of course it seems to be affecting the bottom line.
I think it's important to be clear in our midwife identity, and our duty of care to promote normal birth, while keeping the wellbeing of mother and baby as our leading concern.
I believe it's also important that midwives who are facing censure write your story truthfully in a personal journal, where you can record it exactly as it happened. This helps you to get over any feelings of anger, and direct your energy to reform of a messed up maternity care system.
I think we are coming up to a watershed, and the change could go one way or the other. We need midwives to be able to work as a midwife wherever you choose - not to have threats of dismissal over your head.
Now is the time for midwives to be very strong, and to value what we do as an essential service and promotion of wellness for mothers and babies, which our society cannot afford to lose.
Joy Johnston