Nov 272012

“Buck up.” – Midwife to mother who was having a very difficult labor and requested a cesarean because she felt that something was wrong.

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 November 27, 2012  birth, Cesarean, Midwife  Add comments

  16 Responses to ““Buck Up.””

  1. Because that fixes everything.

    Trust the mother’s instincts and see if something IS wrong, Midwife Moron.

  2. “Okay, why don’t you tell me what you think is wrong, and we’ll try to figure out if it’s really a problem and what we can do about it.”

    There — that wasn’t so hard, was it?

  3. I don’t think a mother’s intuition is always correct. That does not, however, give the medical professional permission to belittle her. Something along the lines of the examples given above would be much better.

    • exactly. there are times, especially at transition, where mom might feel like she can’t do it. but being flippant and rude is only going to make mom feel worse and not help anything. this nurse was just being a bitch.

      • I flat said, “I can’t do this” during my home birth when I hit transition. If ANYONE had told me to “buck up” or “suck it up” or anything like that I probably would have punched them.

        • I always say I can’t do it when I’m pushing. But what I need to hear is “yes you can, you ARE doing it and you are doing a great job!” So far my midwife told me exactly what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it. OP, I hope there was nothing wrong and you went on to have a safe birth.

      • Exactly. I remember with my last birth, about an hour before I had him the thought crossed my mind, “I can’t do this anymore, I want an epidural.”. Then I literally told myself that I was being irrational so I must have hit transition and didn’t have much longer.

  4. About as good as “Walk it off, walk it off…”

    What is the rest of this story? Man alive.

  5. “You feel like something is wrong? let me recheck the baby’s heartrate and a few other things. can you describe what feels wrong?”

    FYI, i went to the Dr after 2 weeks of something feeling wrong but i thought it was just pregnancy pain and i was SOL… but i had a rib out of place… so something WAS wrong and it wasnt just random. glad they checked it out for me and figured it out. and all i said was “my back/side hurts” and the dr just had to feel it to figure it out.

  6. This was said to a friend during her first birth. Something just didn’t feel right, and when she said so, the midwife shut her up with this. Her birth was rough, her baby’s head was huge and she ended up with damage that required surgery to repair.

    • Ah…so she had a baby that was too big for her and a C-section might have resulted in a better outcome for her? It is possible…

      You think if she goes to have a second child that might also be large that an elective C might also result in a better outcome?

      • I don’t know if this was as sarcastic as it sounded, and I’m really hoping not. Just in case you did intend the implied sarcasm, it needs pointed out that the issue wasn’t if the mom needed a c-section or not. The issue was that the midwife didn’t listen to the patient’s concerns. A c-section might have resulted in a safer and less stressful birth, AND IT IS THE MOM’S RIGHT to make an informed decision. Informed, as in: the midwife listened to the patient’s concerns, asked for more information, made (preferably) multiple suggestions based on the patient’s particular situation. Perhaps a change of position would have helped… Perhaps this mom would have had an easier time with some warm compresses applied to help the muscles relax. Perhaps a c-section would have been best. It doesn’t matter.

        The whole point is that telling the patient to “Buck Up” and ignoring the birthing mother’s concerns is not OK. That kind of thing is why most of us are here.

        • It’s exactly that sarcastic. I’m sorry that mom was told “buck up”. That’s not an appropriate comment.

          But too often people spout stuff like “our bodies are made for birth” and “your body won’t grow a baby too big for you” and the pink-link proves those things aren’t true.

          If you’re concerned about “informed birth” then these fallacies need to be pointed out. It does matter.

          • My second was small(ish), at 6.5 pounds, but still caused some serious damage which also required surgery. The fact that she did give birth vaginally means her body didn’t grow a baby it couldn’t birth. Yes, birth doesn’t always go perfectly, but that doesn’t mean that medical intervention is always a superior answer to letting things happen naturally, even if perhaps with difficulty.

            That’s not to say medical solutions to legitimate problems should be avoided. Just that pointing to this instance as proof is kind of fallacious.

      • The problem isn’t just the baby’s size. As Mommy23Melody said, it’s the brush-off of the mother’s feelings and intuition during labor that’s the problem. If the mother senses a problem, and the midwife is ostensibly there to keep the mother and baby safe, then the midwife should check it out.

        When the midwife checks it out, there are two options:
        1) Nothing is wrong, and she can reassure the mother she sees nothing wrong
        2) Something is wrong, in which case, the midwife can act on it

        But to say, “Buck up!” with no further investigation is a lousy response.

        Now extend that out to the rest of the birht. When the mother is pushing, does the midwife tell her to “buck up and push to a count of ten!” when the mom wants to push slowly? When the mother wants to push on hands and knees, does the midwife tell her, “Be a sport and push on your back!”

        The mom suffered a lot of damage, but it’s impossible to tell if it’s just the baby’s size that caused the problem, or whether it was not having a birth attendant who listened to what was going on and suggested alternatives.

        • This! The simple act of tensing up because she felt something was “off” could have been what caused damage. I know that when I was freaked out during my home birth (my second birth but first all natural) I NEEDED to hear “Everything is fine. Relax [insert random part of body to focus on]” from my doula/husband/midwife.

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