Women’s Rights to Choose Being Stripped Away

by Mrs. BWF on June 21, 2012

Here’s the problem with this…it TAKES AWAY WOMEN’S CHOICES. Our right to birth where and how we choose is being stripped away from us…here and now.

I have a HUGE problem with this. I actually birthed my first VBA2C baby in AZ, so I am all too familiar with the issue this causes. This leaves women to birth in unfriendly VBAC hospitals or possibly have an unprepared for unassisted birth. Nope, don’t like that at all.

If you take away a woman’s choice, you back her into a corner. That’s not safe or healthy for anyone. There are competent midwives that can assist and attend to these women! Taking away their right to do so is dangerous in my opinion. Midwives have the ability to assist women in birthing safely at home or letting her no when that is no longer an option.

I personally know that having a supported VBAC in an Arizona hospital is very, very difficult. By taking the midwives out of the picture, it is leaving women to have traumatic hospital VBAC‘s or unassisted births when they are not prepared to do so.

Have strict education and guidelines for midwives. Allow midwives to carefully attend VBAC’s and twin home births. Have VBAC friendly and baby friendly hospitals, teach midwives and doctors once again how to safely assist vaginal breech births. Give women MORE choices so that they have the right to choose a safe birth for themselves and their babies. Take action and support change.

~January

Share/Bookmark

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashley June 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I agree. I feel backed into a corner at the moment. I am currently 16 weeks pregnant with my second and want to have a VBAC. I see a midwife in VA, and was very hopeful about getting my VBAC….until my husband obtained a job in Alabama. It’s our home state and we are returning in July. They are not midwife friendly at all. Medically attended home births are completely illegal, as is lay midwifery. I’m praying that I’ll find a health care provider that is VBAC friendly, but I feel that’s going to be a very difficult task. I’ve also considered just birthing at home with no one there.

Reply

Samantha June 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm

I have lived in AL and MS – I went over the state lines to get my midwife! Please, trust me, the extra drive time is doable and worth it. I do know of a midwife who does homebirths in AL – though less and less b/c of the way the laws are there. There are also doulas who will stay with you for an unassisted. When you get to AL – find a LLL group and put out the feelers – you will find the help you need!

Reply

Samantha June 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Ashley, where are you moving to? I live in HSV and have a midwife in Cullman. For birth, there is a home just over the border in TN that some people rent out to midwives and that’s what we are doing. If you aren’t moving close enough to do that, I’m sure my midwife could help give a referral for someone who lives close to GA, FL or MS. My FB url is smarsden13, please friend or message me!!

Reply

Ashley June 25, 2012 at 11:55 am

Hey Samantha! I tried to add/message you on FB, but it wouldn’t let me. Will you see if it’ll let you add me?

http://www.facebook.com/ashleywmartin

Reply

Briana Shires June 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm

It’s so tough. I had a very successful VBAC in a hospital here in Phx. But everything went perfectly. I went into labor on my own at 40 weeks 5 days and had no interventions. But I hated how much I had to be monitored.
The other side though is that there are many homebirthing midwives that I don’t believe are capable or educated enough or been through enough training to handle these VBAC mommas. I’m a doula here and recently had a mom brought in 43 weeks and 5 days, pushed for 5 hrs at home. She lives 40 min from the hospital. SUCH a hard situation. Her MW had no freaking clue what she was doing. I feel like I could’ve done more for that momma! She was not supported or educated or helped. I think they are just trying to do good things, but do it in a horrible way. Ya know?? But really this (limiting VBAC mamas choices) has been the case here in AZ for a while now.

Reply

amy June 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I know my midwives stated they cannot attend a home birth with multiples, or breech babies, although they do attend vbacs. I live in CA. Luckily for me, none of the conditions applied to me, but I do remember thinking it was silly that they had those guidelines. I didn’t research other midwives after choosing to go with them, but am curious if most go by this rule anyway (minus the vbac condition). I know that the local birth center has the same criteria as my midwives, with respect to multiples and breech babies.

Reply

Jessica June 21, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Honestly, living in Florida, our situation is not all that different. I’m currently preparing for a midwife assisted HBAC, but if baby turns breech, I have no legal choice but to transfer to hospital. If he is born outside my legal window of 36-42 weeks, I must transfer to hospital. If I was having twins, like I did last time, I’d have to transfer to hospital. And my local hospital has a 40-something percent section rate. And most doctors that practice at that hospital, including those I used last time, refuse to accept VBAC patients. Thank God we are allowed to HBAC here… But the system certainly isn’t set up to be encouraging.

Reply

Heather June 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm

What I find to be the most ironic thing of all is the for hundreds of years women gave brth at home with mid-wives or unassisted…. There was no way of knowing that the baby was breech or if there were mulitiples, and guess what… There were lots of healthy happy babies. Granted some didnt always turn out so great, but even the most by-the-book pregnancy, labor & delivery can end negatively. Sometimes things just happen. I think that it is up to each individual woman to choose how she gives birth. Millions of women still give birth this way all over the world. It all comes back to the ‘American Dream’ being built on other people greed for money and power. And yes, I strongly believe that!

Reply

Kelly Larabie June 21, 2012 at 3:09 pm

To Ashley (comment #1)…where in AL will you be? A lot of AL mamas deliver across the TN border with midwives. CPM’s are legal in TN to attend homebirths. Look for doulas in AL & they can help you find the health care providers you are looking for. :-)

Reply

Jodi June 21, 2012 at 4:44 pm

This is exactly the legislation they are passing right now in Australia. They are doing it by taking away the right to Public Indemnity Insurance from Independant Midwives, and forcing them to work under an obsetric guideline.
Despite public outcry, the majority of the public over here have spoken out against it as a removal of our freedom of choice, and we got a ‘stay of execution’, in a manner of speaking, of two years, but in those two years there have been ‘witch hunts’ like you wouldn’t believe and overhyped propaganda hitting the news, which isn’t helping the cause one bit. I was pregnant with my last child when we were given our time limit, and you should have heard my midwife. If she was the kind of woman to have done so she would have been swearing and stomping and shaking her fists. The government have made it sound oh, so nice, wrapped in a pretty pink ribbon…. They say it makes the right to home birth easier and say they’ve subsidised it, which on the surface is true. But not if you’ve had a caesarian. Or if your baby is breech. Multiples? Forget it. Overweight by a standard BMI… Not labouring in the time alotted… Not fitting into a neat little box like a good little clone…
They’ve brought the hospital home, and that’s not right. It’s more than just taking away our rights, it’s an invasion of privacy and a gross breach of trust. I’ve had two homebirths without complication, I’d be fine if we were to have any more children. I have friends who would love to try, but if this legislation gets the final stamp they won’t even have a chance.

Reply

Stacy June 21, 2012 at 11:52 pm

We are fighting a similar battle here, just in a slightly different context – VBACs were recently banned at both of our local hospitals. This forces women 1. to consent to an (often times) unnecessary c-section, 2. to drive 2+ hours to the nearest VBAC friendly hospital (leaving them far from help should an emergency arise en route, or should the baby come quickly), or 3. to have a HBAC (which isn’t for everyone). We are fortunate that midwives are “allowed” to attend home births after 1 cesarean, but not after multiple cesareans or breech or muliples births. Personally, I am planning an HBAC, but if I have to transfer, I’m screwed! I either have to have an automatic c-section, or I have a hell of a fight on my hands that no laboring woman should have to deal with. I don’t understand how this decision of how and where to birth should be anyone but the mother’s!

Reply

Wendy June 22, 2012 at 7:59 am

This is just horrifying, but nothing new. During my last pregnancy (which I lost) I was looking into places to have my VBA2C, to very little avail. There are VERY few providers of any kind in my area who will do a VBAC, much less a VBA2C. The (hospital ground) birth center I used for my first doesn’t do VBAC’s. The midwives can attend VBAC’s in the hospital, but not VBA2C’s, which are “not encouraged” at the hospital. The beautiful free-standing birth centers over the state line have their hands tied, as they can’t legally do VBA2C’s, and have to closely monitor VBAC’s. It’s all so unfair, but so typical. The powers that be, both in the government and in medicine, do not trust us to make our own decisions in anything. We are more and more being turned into cattle to be herded as they see fit.

Reply

Melissa June 22, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I think it’s ridiculous as well. Especially in the case of breech and twins which, to me, are common variants of normal pregnancy and birth. I can understand some caution with vbacs, but it’s just ridiculous to take away the option. I’m pregnant for the first time and I know I could never give birth in a hospital. At least not without a dang good reason. If I ended up wih multiples or a breech I’ve basically got no choice but to go unassisted unless a kind midwife wants to risk her license or support me as just a friend and not my care provider. Ridiculous.

Reply

Jen Zimmerman June 23, 2012 at 6:45 pm

It is such a shame that this kind of stuff is happening. I live in md where home birth has recently become illegal. I am also carrying twins and am having such a difficult time. While I finally found an OB who is comfortable with vbacs and no epidural (I can’t seem to find a midwife that takes twins), I have found that the hospital requires fetal monitoring and likely doesn’t have a telemetry unit to make it so I have total freedom to move around. Therefore, I will be leashed to an area around my bed. This is making me crazy as with both my births (first an emergency c/s and second a vbac) I spent most of my labor in the shower. I feel almost like a lamb going to slaughter. No woman should feel like their choices for birth are being taken away.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: