Good "know your rights" resource (not VBAC related)?

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cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658
Good "know your rights" resource (not VBAC related)?

So my midwives scared the @#$& out of me at our last class, talking about what happens if you get transferred to the hospital. They thought they were being reassuring because mostly what they were saying is that they go with you and will generally still be the ones delivering and it'll be pretty close to the same as at the BC, just no nice big tub for birth (labor only). BUT, they also said essentially that the hospital OBs and nurses don't give a $^&@ about birth plans and won't really even read them, and if you end up with an OB delivering for any reason, "they'll just cut the cord" and that unless you happen to be there on a REALLY slow day, they take the baby to the nursery for two hours no matter what.

Now, these two issues are two of THE most important to me, and I'm getting all pre-stressed out and envisioning myself screaming through the whole pushing phase "IF YOU CUT MY CORD I WILL SUE YOU, #@Q$^*#&@^$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and kicking people in the shins and running down the hall with my baby to avoid them taking her away from me just because it's more convenient for them. OMG my blood is boiling just typing this.

ANYway, I know that this is not even definitely going to happen to me, but being armed with GOOD, SOLID defenses that are likely to work in the event that I do end up faced with these obstacles would make me feel a LOT better and less freaked out about the possibility. So, anyone been through similar fights and/or know good resources to help me get info on how to successfully fight these things if I need to?

AJsmommy's picture
Joined: 05/08/07
Posts: 289

Oh my goodness, that is a bit scary. But I'm also guessing that if you transfer, it will probably be for an emerency, right? So some of that may not be an issue anyway if it's an emerency situtation. Your birth plan will already be changing if that happens.

As far as the cord cutting and taking the baby to the nursery goes, I would just make sure your DH and the midwife that goes with you will advocate for you and the baby. You may not be in the best position to advocate for yourself at that point. With my daughter I found it really hard to speak at all during the pushing phase and right after much less stick up for myself. I would want to rely on someone else.

I'm so happy that I don't have to fight these fights with my hospital. They have really good policies as far as rooming in and immediate mom/baby bonding. The cord thing isn't an issue for me because we donate our cord blood anyway.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"AJsmommy" wrote:

Oh my goodness, that is a bit scary. But I'm also guessing that if you transfer, it will probably be for an emerency, right? So some of that may not be an issue anyway if it's an emerency situtation. Your birth plan will already be changing if that happens.

As far as the cord cutting and taking the baby to the nursery goes, I would just make sure your DH and the midwife that goes with you will advocate for you and the baby. You may not be in the best position to advocate for yourself at that point. With my daughter I found it really hard to speak at all during the pushing phase and right after much less stick up for myself. I would want to rely on someone else.

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I completely agree with this. Well said.

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

Childbirth Connection ( www.childbirthconnection.com) publishes a brocure called "The Rights of Childbearing Women." I have a copy, as it came with the Hypnobabies homestudy course. The content of the brocure is here: http://www.childbirthconnection.com/article.asp?ck=10084&ClickedLink=0&area=27. Right number 10 is

Every woman has the right to accept or refuse procedures, drugs, tests and treatments, and to have her choices honored. She has the right to change her mind.* (Please note that this established legal right has been challenged in a number of recent cases.)

and right number 18 is

Every woman has the right to virtually uninterrupted contact with her newborn from the moment of birth, as long as she and her baby are healthy and do not need care that requires separation.**

As I understand, verbal dissent is legally binding. If you state aloud "I do not consent to cord clamping until the cord stops pulsing," doctors will interpret this to mean you are someone who knows her rights and will respect that because they don't want to be sued. It's not the nice way of getting what you want, but in that circumstance, you just do what you have to. I agree that it is a good idea to make sure your support people know what is important to you, in case of a transfer.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

"MrsMangoBabe" wrote:

Childbirth Connection ( www.childbirthconnection.com) publishes a brocure called "The Rights of Childbearing Women." I have a copy, as it came with the Hypnobabies homestudy course. The content of the brocure is here: http://www.childbirthconnection.com/article.asp?ck=10084&ClickedLink=0&area=27. Right number 10 is and right number 18 is

As I understand, verbal dissent is legally binding. If you state aloud "I do not consent to cord clamping until the cord stops pulsing," doctors will interpret this to mean you are someone who knows her rights and will respect that because they don't want to be sued. It's not the nice way of getting what you want, but in that circumstance, you just do what you have to. I agree that it is a good idea to make sure your support people know what is important to you, in case of a transfer.

Thank you, that is great and exactly what I was looking for. I'm not worried about the midwives cutting the cord, and I will be meeting with them to go over my birth plan, which they do respect, at my 36 week appointment.

My main concern is ending up at the hospital simply for going over 41 weeks, which is not even to the "average" for FTMs (and my family has a history of long pregnancies). Why should my critical bonding time with my baby be interrupted just because I let her bake as long as she needed to?! Head---->desk.

The midwife will still deliver at the hospital if everything else is normal, so the cord situation should be OK, but I want my bases covered in case an OB is called in for any reason. Of course I am OK with my plan changing due to true medical necessity, but I am NOT okay with it changing simply because of the doctor's habits, or policies that are in place solely for the convenience of the medical staff and have nothing to do with the needs of me and my baby!

Shannon, thanks for the reminder--I'll make sure DH is ready to be a STRONG advocate in the event that I'm in no shape to argue for myself, which you're right, is likely!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Sounds like you got good advice. Another suggestion I have would be to print out "I do not consent to cord clamping before pulsing stops" or something like that in bold clear typeface, so big it is basically a sign. Keep it in your labor bag with a roll of tape and tape it to the back of your bed. They can't help but read that birth plan.