Jan 062010
“You know what we call people with birth plans?  Cesarean Sections!” -OB to mother during prenatal when asked to discuss birth plans.
Share Button
 January 6, 2010  Birth Plan, Cesarean, OB, prenatal  Add comments

  22 Responses to “"You Know What We Call People With Birth Plans…?"”

  1. Ugh, what a pig.

  2. Was that a threat? Or did the provider really believe that someone could “interfere” enough in her own labor that there would be a *need* for a c-section?

    Either way: a FAIL.

    • Sure, a woman could interfere in her own labor enough to stop it. She could put herself flat on her back, tethered in place, in a bright, noisy place, deny herself food and drink and surround herself with insensitive clock-watchers who leave her unable to relax. :-b

  3. Well, it certainly sounds as if SOMEONE has plans for how birth ought to work!

  4. At least Dr. said it at a prenatal, so she had time to run, run, as fast as she can!!

  5. You know what I call OBs who say things like this to me?

  6. Lovely. Hmmm…know what we call doctors like you? “MY FORMER OB”

  7. Oh, that’s cute. If women want some say in their maternity care, let’s go ahead and punish them with cesareans.

  8. but, I’ve read so many nursing blogs where the L&D nurses say the same thing. What is so wrong with wanting to have some control over what goes on in your vagina and with your baby?

  9. KDB and Dawn, RIGHT ON!

  10. My friend had a nurse say this to her when she was admitted to the hospital in labor. She then had to deal with the OB threating her with a court order for a c-section since the baby was breech and she would not consent to one. While the doc was out getting the court order, my friend pushed her baby on out.

  11. I’d like to see a study done on the cesarean rate in women with birth plans compared to those who don’t have them. Just looking at the cesareans in my clients compared to the local cesarean rate, I can say that my clients (who are probably more likely to have birth plans than the women in the general population) have a lower cesarean rate.

    I hear this kind of comment too though. Actually, in one hospital I advise my clients NOT to submit a birth plan since it will be actively undermined, no matter what they request.

    I think the issue with care providers who make comments like this is one of selective observation. When a woman submits a birthplan, suddenly the care providers are watching to see how the birth turns out. When it ends in cesarean, they “notice” it more than when it turns out more along the lines of what the mother wanted.

    They don’t really notice that women that *don’t* have birth plans are probably having cesareans more frequently than those who do.

    • Wow, that is sick that the nurses would actively undermine a patients birth preferences.

      I wonder… I would be tempted to submit a “dummy” birth plan once, requesting that the nurses offer drugs constantly, saying that I wanted to be in the bed with constant monitoring, and that if I was in labor for more than 8 hours I wanted a c-section immediately. >.<

      (I have never had active labor last longer than 8 hours with the exception of my unnecessary 39-week induction with my first. I tend to have a few weeks of prodromal labor followed by 4-5 hours of intense active labor).

    • You won’t see any such study, Knitted. An alarmingly high amount of obstetric practice is anecdote-based, not evidence-based.

      • Wendy: You won’t see any such study, Knitted. An alarmingly high amount of obstetric practice is anecdote-based, not evidence-based.

        Oh, I know, but one can dream right? ;-)

        Actually, it would be a perfect thing for Childbirth Connection to look at in their next “Listening to Mothers” survey (I hope they are going to keep doing them?) ;-)

        There actually was a small study done on the “homebirth transfer train wrecks”–another stunning example of anectdotes driving OB beliefs. Apparently a hospital approached a university researcher–U. of Minnesota if I remember correctly…SHEESH, I should have kept a copy of that article!, and asked her to document the frequency at which homebirth transfers were traumatic situations.

        What the researcher found was that it wasn’t happening all that often, that most homebirth transfers were for pain meds or other “non-emergency” situations. BUT….the OB’s would inflate the situation when they told their collegues. So often within a matter of just a few days after the transfer occurred, the staff at the recipient hospital would all be talking about the woman who “transferred in last week on death’s doorstep.”

        It wasn’t long after that came out with ACOG had that gaffe with people discovering they were soliciting homebirth transfer horror stories on their website. I guess whoever initiated the original study was hoping that if they just widened their “net” in trying to find the horror stories, more would come pouring in. Funny, but I haven’t heard ACOG publishing a huge list of them….

        Kat: Wow, that is sick that the nurses would actively undermine a patients birth preferences.I wonder… I would be tempted to submit a “dummy” birth plan once,

        Kat, this kind of behavior I think is more widespread than folks realize. The nurses sometimes take birth plans as an “affront” to their authority. Blech.

        • Ah, yes! LOL! I remember that “study” that ACOG was launching. I heeded the action alert from the childbirth reform community/blogosphere and entered my natural, normal home birth. In the comments section, I entered: “Good luck with your fishing expedition.” ACOG probably fired whatever PR genius made that little gem public. ;-)

          If you find the original “train wreck” study, I’d love to see the abstract! And you’re right about Childbirth Connection. You should pose that suggestion to them that they survey women on their experiences with birth plans.

    • This is exactly why I never had a birth plan, but did discuss everything I wanted with my MW. The nurses in the hospital had no idea what I did and didn’t want so they couldn’t plan how to undermine me ahead of time. The MW did know what I wanted and she was fine with it and I knew she had delivered many babies before me in the same way (intervention free, as natural as possible, whatever position you want etc.)

  12. My OB said this to me! I thought he was joking. It wasn’t until I was admitted for something else, and tried to leave the hospital WITHOUT a c-section at 38 weeks that I realized he wasn’t. Oops. My bad. Next baby? Free-birth.

  13. this begs the question; so what do you call people without a birth plan?

  14. Luann, I’m guessing those without a birth plan are called “inductions”

Leave a Reply