Tuesday, September 20, 2011

On Birth Plans #1

Here's what SHOULD be on your birth plan from day one:

"I do not consent to any vaginal exams, either during pregnancy or at any point during labor, up to and including delivery. This includes checking for dilation/effacement during labor. I understand that unless I have shown signs of a potential cervical problems during pregnancy, have been diagnosed with an incompetent cervix, or have some other medical condition OTHER THAN PREGNANCY necessitating vaginal exams that they are not necessary and will not speed up my pregnancy. I understand that especially after my water has broken, vaginal exams can introduce foreign bacteria and matter into my vagina, which is otherwise a pH balanced and sterile environment with the exact right amount of good bacteria. I understand that, while gauging dilation and effacement can be useful, it can also be completely meaningless. I will not have my labor and delivery experience overwhelmed by a 'ticking clock' that insists that I must dilate a specific amount within a specific time period, lest my body has somehow decided it suddenly does not understand how to birth a child that it has otherwise created and grown without significant problems. I understand that if, at any point in time, I have changed my mind, I will inform the staff appropriately. I understand that any violation of my expectations for non-life threatening reasons will be a gross infraction of my rights as a patient and as a person." (See: Mama Birth: Obstetric Lie #93)

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