20 November 2008

doula video from Today

As expected, Dr. Nancy Schneiderman uses language repeatedly of "doctor" or "OB" & not of midwife. I found her very closed to the idea of doulas - and not a single word about statistical benefits of doulas, the many studies that show their value. Notice how she says some are very well trained - having been L&D nurses or midwives (or credentialed through DONA, as so many of us are) - but then warned that some less-well trained will create a hostile environment by giving information contrary to what the hospital staff says...that strikes me as ironic...be medically trained in order to give non-medical support!
I think so much of the tension comes from a place of defensiveness - the idea that you need your doctor's permission in order to gather the support you desire (or that you have a doctor & not a midwife!). No consideration of the idea that if you want a doula and your care provider does not then perhaps you are not well matched and should choose a different care provider. But it just doesn't have to be that way...I just do not have this tension with care providers - but I work hard to help build consensus...I doula doctors and nurses when needed!
But yes, we all know there are overzealous doulas who step over the line and are being advocates for Birth with a capital B rather than this particular birth and family - point well taken and something for doulas to be clear about.
Kind of sad that Dr. Schneiderman considers a birthing family feeling informed, cared for, physically & emotionally comfortable and having built a relationship with an integral member of her birth team as a "luxury"...

Should you wish to give Dr. Schneiderman/The Today Show feedback but do not wish to dig through the site, you can try here.


Laura said...

I think the mainstream medical world views any modality other than pharmaceuticals or surgery to be quackery.

They kind of get acupuncture. They grudgingly admit to biofeedback and meditation. But, support a woman in labor? Where are the drugs? You know it's an emergency situation requiring medical intervention, don't you?

It seems evidence based medicine is still a long way off, unfortunately. The studies are there for all sorts of things: homebirth, doulas, extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping.

Women who are seeking their own answers, and are doing their own research, finding the studies, are lucky to have people like you, Kim, to support them and help them have healthy, happy outcomes.

Nanda Mama said...

I turn the channel whenever I see something with Dr. Schneiderman on it. She is hostile toward anything that does not directly support a strictly medical approach. Our parting of the ways was on a show about co-sleeping where she said that husbands and wives not sleeping together in favor of sleeping with children meant there was something seriously wrong with the marriage and they should either seek counseling or an attorney. Well, that is cut and dry. Guess me and hubby better get a lawyer then.

I left my comments on the Today show site. I wish they would balance her more with the Sears family.

Sarah said...

Oy. I felt the conflict b/t medical staff + my doula during my own birth. One of the (several) OBs present during my labor actually got into a little fight with my (very sweet + non-confrontation) doula because she (the doctor) felt threatened. I'm guessing it isn't comfortable for most doctors to be questioned by someone who might be more knowledgeable than most first-time parents are. The fact that there was a Today Show segment on doulas, even if unbalanced, makes me hopeful for the future. Obviously the gain in popularity isn't going away!