Of Birth Plans and OBs

Last week, ACOG repeated its statement on home birth. While there are so many misconceptions in their statement, on really stood out as important to women no matter where they plan to give birth: “ACOG encourages all pregnant women to get prenatal care and to make a birth plan.”

Wow, I wonder what their members think about this statement. Have you seen birth plans well accepted by OBs where you are? I’d love to hear your experiences…

Here is The Big Push for Midwive’s Response to ACOG:

The Big Push For Midwives responds to ACOG

PushNews from The Big Push for Midwives Campaign
CONTACT: Steff Hedenkamp, (816) 506-4630, RedQuill [ at ] kc.rr.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, February 7, 2008
ACOG: Out of Touch with Needs of Childbearing Families
Trade Union claims out-of-hospital birth is “trendy” tries to play the “bad mother” card
(February 7, 2008) — The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a trade union representing the financial and professional interests of obstetricians, has issued the latest in a series of statements condemning families who choose home birth and calling on policy makers to deny them access to Certified Professional Midwives. CPMs are trained as experts in out-of-hospital delivery and as specialists in risk assessment and preventative care.

“It will certainly come as news to the Amish and other groups in this country who have long chosen home birth that they’re simply being ‘trendy’ or ‘fashionable,’” said Katie Prown, PhD, Campaign Manager of The Big Push for Midwives 2008. “The fact is, families deliver their babies at home for a variety of very valid reasons, either because they’re exercising their religious freedom, following their cultural traditions or because of financial need. These families deserve access to safe, quality and affordable maternity care, just like everyone else.”

Besides referring to home birth as a fashionable “trend” and a “cause célèbre” that families choose out of ignorance, ACOG’s latest statement adds insult to injury by claiming that women delivering outside of the hospital are bad mothers who value the childbirth “experience” over the safety of their babies.
“ACOG has it backwards,” said Steff Hedenkamp, Communications Coordinator of The Big Push and the mother of two children born at home. “I delivered my babies with a trained, skilled professional midwifebecause I wanted the safest out-of-hospital care possible. If every state were to follow ACOG’s recommendations and outlaw CPMs, families who choose home birth will be left with no care providers at all. I think we can all agree that this is an irresponsible policy that puts mothers and babies at risk.”
The Big Push for Midwives calls on ACOG to abandon these outdated policies and work with CPMs to reduce the cesarean rate and to take meaningful steps towards reducing racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes in all regions of the United States. CPMs play a critical role in both cesarean prevention and in the reduction of low-birth weight and pre-term births, the two most preventable causes of neonatal mortality.
Moreover, their training as specialists in out-of-hospital maternity care qualifies CPMs as essential first responders during disasters in which hospitals become inaccessible or unsafe for laboring mothers. In addition, CPMs work to ensure that all babies born outside of the hospital undergo state-mandated newborn screenings and are provided with legal and secure birth certificates.
Currently, Certified Nurse-Midwives, who work predominantly in hospital settings, are licensed and regulated in all 50 states, while Certified Professional Midwives, who work in out-of-hospital settings, are licensed and regulated in 24 states, with legislation pending in an additional 20 states.
The Big Push for Midwives is a nationally coordinated campaign to advocate for regulation and licensure of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in all 50 states, the
District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and to push back against the attempts of the American Medical Association Scope of Practice Partnership to deny American families access to legal midwifery care.
Media inquiries should be directed to Steff Hedenkamp (816) 506-4630, RedQuill [ at] kc.rr.com.

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2 Responses to Of Birth Plans and OBs

  1. Sheridan says:

    Birth Plans I have had mixed reactions from care providers… OBs, nurses etc.

    The saddest one was when a nurse said in a degrading voice, ‘This is what you get for having a 2 page birth plan” after the mom had numerous interventions she had hoped to avoid.

    Some just seem to ignore them.

    Some are great!


  2. labortrials says:

    ICAN responded as well I’d like to direct your readers to ICAN’s response to the AABC and ACOG, both of whom released statements that limit birth choices.

    My experience with “birth plans”:
    1. I submitted a birth plan to my CNM which was respectfully received but ignored at the hospital. She recommended breaking my waters, and the rest is history.
    2. In my new hometown I tried to establish with an OB/CNM group that seemed supportive of VBAC. The OB hired a new partner, and the need arose to see the new guy. Not only did he try and talk me out of VBAC, but he also offered to tie my tubes during surgery and made fun of women with birth plans.
    So, no . . . I’m not sure that most ACOG doctors are terribly concerned about women’s rights in labor and “delivery” much less some slip of paper that clearly communicates a woman’s wishes.

    Regardless, I now encourage people to read the 10 steps to mother-friendly care – http://www.motherfriendly.org/MFCI/steps.html. Wherever one chooses to birth, the care providers should make these steps a priority.

    Ok, stepping away from the soapbox . . .
    ~ Kimberly