Another Doula Ban, Another Bad Birth Plan

Another Doula Ban, Another Bad Birth Plan

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Update: Apparently the Columbus media has been overwhelmed with the sheer volume of calls/emails regarding the doula ban.  The PR representative from DONA International has successfully scheduled several local media appearances for this week.  She respectfully asks that people now refrain calling the media at this point so that we don’t frustrate them and cause them to find doulas annoying (which is the very situation we are working against!).  Thanks for your understanding and support!


Scores of pregnant women in the Central Ohio region recently received the following letter from their OB/GYN practice:

The team at Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates is so pleased that you are expecting.  We look forward to helping you enjoy your pregnancy and hope to provide a meaningful and safe birthing experience.

Because of concerns for increased risk to you or your baby, the doctors at KGA have made a thoughtful, unanimous decision not to allow doulas to participate in the birthing process.  It has been our experience that they may serve to create a state of confusion and tension in the delivery room, which may compromise our ability to provide the safest delivery situation possible for you and your baby.

Again, with safety in mind, we have created a Kingsdale Birth Plan (which can be viewed in the obstetric packet provided at your initial visit), outlining the philosophy of our doctors with regard to labor and delivery.  It is our opinion that other birth plans are unnecessary.  We feel that our many years of obstetric experience in a setting of modern day challenges (larger babies, more difficult deliveries) enable us to provide sound judgment with regard to each woman’s particular needs during her course of labor.

Thank you for your understanding in our hopes of facilitating a safe pregnancy and birth process.

___________________________

Patient’s signature

________________________

Date

*

Oh goodness me!  I think that the editor(s) of this letter forgot to include some very pertinent information in it.  And, to be fair, they’re human–they make mistakes.

Here, let me see if I can take my hand at it (edits in bold):

Dear mindless and will-less womb pod:

The team at Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates is so pleased that you are expecting.  We look forward to helping you enjoy your pregnancy and hope to provide a meaningful and safe birthing experience.  In fact, we hope to provide our own definitions of “meaningful” and “safe” for you.  (We’ll even pull some of these definitions out of a hat–like magic!)  So don’t worry–you won’t even need to use your brain at all when you seek care with us.

Because of concerns for increased risk to you or your baby, the doctors at KGA have made a thoughtful, unanimous decision not to allow doulas to participate in the birthing process.  Nevermind the research showing that doula support has been shown to decrease the use of pitocin, forceps, vacuum extraction, and cesarean section.   This research conflicts with our non-evidence-based worldview.  So we’re going to ignore it.  And come on, what’s so bad about pitocin, forceps, vacuum extraction, and cesarean section?

It has been our experience that doulas may serve to create a state of confusion and tension in the delivery room by encouraging their clients to ask pesky questions about their care and the interventions we suggest during labor.  This may compromise our ability to provide the safest delivery situation possible for you and your baby.  Just repeat after us: Questions are unsafe.  Resistance is futile.  Paternalism tastes like chocolate.

And no, we’re not willing to entertain the possibility of banning particular doulas who may have been practicing outside of their scope or recommending questionable practices to their clients.  No, we’ve made the unanimous decision to avoid nuance, the uniqueness of women’s circumstances, and the facilitation of any and all discussion with other birth professionals in the area.  IT’S UNSAFE!  IT MAKES US TENSE!  AND CONFUSED!

Again, with safety (and the aforementioned avoidance of nuance, discussion, and research we don’t “like”) in mind, we have created a Kingsdale Birth Plan (which can be viewed in the obstetric packet provided at your initial visit and on the blog of one of those pesky, tension-causing doulas after she receives it via email), outlining the philosophy and draconian decrees of our doctors with regard to labor and delivery.  It is our opinion that other birth plans are unnecessary.  We feel that our many years of obstetric experience (and not the many years of transformations in evidence-based maternity care) in a setting of modern day challenges (larger babies and more difficult deliveries that have nothing–we said NOTHING–to do with increased rates of induction, confining laboring women to hospital beds, and a skyrocketing cesarean rate) enable us to provide sound judgment with regard to each woman’s particular needs during her course of labor.  And because we care so much about each woman’s particular needs, we’ve created this birth plan and this doula ban so that we can paint all labors with one, monochrome, universalizing brush.  It’s called logik, people!

Thank you for your understanding in our hopes of facilitating a safe pregnancy and birth process.  And please, don’t go around searching for alternative definitions of “safe pregnancy and birth.”  THEY’RE LIES!  ALL LIES!  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

___________________________

Womb-pod’s signature (preferably in blood)

________________________

Date in which you signed away all your rights as a birthing woman



*

So–do you think those edits are just about right?

Update: If you are in the Columbus area, are planning a hospital birth, and would like to find a practice that supports doulas AND birth plans, please see Emily Neiman, CNM’s comment below and consider transferring to her practice, Women’s Contemporary Health-Care.  This practice comes highly recommended from other local doulas and childbirth educators that I know!



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126 Comments

  1. Amy Romano
    Amy Romano06-24-2010

    Oh, you ROCK. I cannot wait to see their birth plan. And thank you for naming the practice.

    Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates
    Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates
    Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates

    [Just in case that makes it easier for Google to find this page when the next pregnant women goes searching.]
    Amy Romano´s last blog post ..The 6th Healthy Birth Blog Carnival: MotherBaby Edition…

    • foxy.kate
      foxy.kate06-24-2010

      Did you say Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates? I haven’t been to Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates but I have heard that if you use Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates that they might not want you to bring in your own birth plan. So I’m kinda reconsidering using Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates.
      foxy.kate´s last blog post ..Three bitches in a bathtub

    • michael
      michael06-25-2010

      You know, although on paper this doesn’t seem so great to, apparently, a lot of people, it does make some sense to me. Coming from someone who has had a few complicated pregnancies and births, I DON’T believe in all the extras. I have heard of too many bad incidences with these kind of birth plans. I can see a legitimate concern the doctors have at this facility. As women, we need to be educated and know what the options and risks are and make our own educated decisions. I think that a big problem is that a lot of women don’t take the time to learn any of these things on there own and put all of there trust in someone else. In my opinion this is a big mistake.

  2. Danielle
    Danielle06-24-2010

    It is disgusting that this is happening and I hope the women who got this letter immediately seek care with other providers!
    Danielle´s last blog post ..Feminism & The Bachelor

  3. Mrs. Spit
    Mrs. Spit06-24-2010

    Wow, I have to give them credit. At least you know what their standards are, up front, and you can quickly, and early on in your pregnancy run, not walk, to another provider.

    I particularly liked your edits, but I think you missed the part about how those pesky interventions help them afford their spiffy cars and nice vacations, what with the extra billings and all.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-24-2010

      I have to agree–I take some small comfort knowing that women won’t (or at least shouldn’t) be SURPRISED when they face this sort of attitude throughout their pregnancy and birth.

      And I hope that lots of women see this letter for the glaring red flag that it is.

      • Jillian
        Jillian06-24-2010

        My thoughts exactly. I switched providers at 36 weeks when mine told me I could labor in any position I wanted, but she was only comfortable “delivering” my baby with me up in stirrups. Before that, she did the head nod to all of my birth plan. I only wish she had given me such a letter early on, so I could see her real views early on.

  4. TheFeministBreeder
    TheFeministBreeder06-24-2010

    It almost seems as though they were trying to prove the point I made yesterday. They’re all “Hey, that TFB is right! We DON’T like it when you have doulas and birth plans…. in fact, we can come out of the closet about it now!”

    Rage. Against. The. Machine.
    TheFeministBreeder´s last blog post ..Independent Women Will Be Cut

  5. Hillary
    Hillary06-24-2010

    Holy mother. Like a previous commenter I agree I’d rather them be upfront b/c if there is one thing I *hate* is the deception that happens. “Oh look birth tubs and pretty curtains and a bullshit line about how your opinions matter” only to be forced out of the tub and and given an episiotomy without permission.

    Hell, I’m glad they’re saying it out loud so we can set record straight.

    Great edits! If I wasn’t so appalled I’d be laughing.

  6. Meghan
    Meghan06-24-2010

    I’d be laughing if that ban and letter wasn’t so sad and scary.

  7. RachelW
    RachelW06-24-2010

    There is much more in this post that I want to read with better attention later, but this – “Questions are unsafe. Resistance is futile. Paternalism tastes like chocolate.” – cracked me up. Thank you.

  8. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama
    Dionna @ Code Name: Mama06-24-2010

    I’m sorry, but since when does a doctor get to dictate who I choose to have at MY birth? Is this legal??

    It is disgusting, and I hope the practice gets blasted by women who cherish their right (dare I say their responsibility) to enjoy an informed, educated, and supported pregnancy and birth.
    Dionna @ Code Name: Mama´s last blog post ..Allowing Toddlers to Choose Compassion

  9. Nichol (@faedemere)
    Nichol (@faedemere)06-24-2010

    I’m a bit speechless. Just a bit. Wow I can’t understand the logic behind this other than control and power over us crazy birthing females.
    Nichol (@faedemere)´s last blog post ..Breastfeeding Discrimination at Red Robin.

  10. Molly
    Molly06-24-2010

    Wow. Just wow.

    I agree with Dionna – can they legally tell you who you can and can not have at YOUR birth? What if you just call it your doula a friend or your sister? Smart women will run from this practice.

    Thanks for the post.
    Molly´s last blog post ..Plow Days

    • Cynthya
      Cynthya06-24-2010

      Why did they only ban doulas? I wonder if Kingsdale really wants to ban birth partners altogether…is this 1958 again?! Will expectant fathers be told to roam the halls with cigars in hand and just wait?

  11. Stevie
    Stevie06-24-2010

    Thank God I live in Canada! My labor and delivery were great both my doctor and the l&d nurses read and respected my birth plan. This letter terrifies me, becoming a mom is scary enough without being stripped of your basic human rights, banning doulas and birth plans is fuckng ridiculous!

  12. Lauren
    Lauren06-24-2010

    has anyone seen a copy of the birth plan they provide for you? just curious to see how awful it is.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-24-2010

      I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve been promised that I will receive it via email sometime today or tomorrow! Will definitely post once I get it.

  13. Shari Atlanta Doula
    Shari Atlanta Doula06-24-2010

    Yet, many women will find themselves at this doctor’s office, mindlessly hiring a stranger to deliver her child (isn’t that the woman’s job)and walks in uneducated and the outcome is often, when she realizes what she has been robbed of, becomes shamed that she allowed herself to be so disempowered. This would make the doctor the thief, the woman the victim and there you have it: woman’s dilemma time immemorial!

  14. Lesley
    Lesley06-24-2010

    Scary indeed! I am ready to start trying for baby #2, and I insist on a doula and formal birth plan this time around. (I don’t want a repeat of the bad care I had with baby #1.) I need to now find a doctor who will see my point of view. I’d go for a home birth, but I worry about complications given my age (and complicated first pregnancy).

  15. cinderkeys
    cinderkeys06-24-2010

    Dionna: The doctor’s practice is a business, and they can dictate whatever terms they like … just as their patients can fire them any time they like.

    Hopefully there will be a lot of firings in the near future.
    cinderkeys´s last blog post ..Replication!

  16. The Mommy Blawger
    The Mommy Blawger06-24-2010

    Wow, and they even want their patients to sign it! What does the signature represent? Receipt? Agreement? *Can’t wait* to see the “birth plan”.
    The Mommy Blawger´s last blog post ..Midwifery Legal/Legislative Updates

  17. Racheal
    Racheal06-24-2010

    and how do so many women still not see what the ‘medical’ way of doing things truly is? How can so many still miss that they have their bottom line & schedules in mind, NOT YOUR BEST INTEREST OR YOUR EMOTIONAL WELL BEING.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-24-2010

      Sometimes I think it’s a matter of discerning between those care providers (midwives AND OBs, to be fair) who care about evidence-based medicine and their clients’/patients’ autonomy and dignity…and those who don’t. Thankfully, Kingsdale makes it abundantly clear which side they fall on!

  18. Emily Neiman, CNM
    Emily Neiman, CNM06-24-2010

    Yep, it’s ridiculous. But I can say that we would be happy, thrilled, ecstatic to have these women transfer to our practice. We have no issues with doulas, “allow” you to write your OWN birth plan, and provide continuous labor support.

    Doulas of Columbus, please take note and inform your clients of all of their options in Columbus in terms of providers. Having a provider who is on board with your wants and needs for your pregnancy/labor/birth can make a HUGE difference in your experience. It’s important to find a provider who respects that this is YOUR body and YOUR birth, gives you options, and treats you like an educated adult.

    I would also like to point out that having a trained, female labor companion decreases the chances of pitocin, vacuum, forceps, and c-section. This could be your nurse-midwife or your doula.

    http://www.wchcare.com

    • Linsey
      Linsey06-24-2010

      This is appalling! Emily – I always recommend any mother looking for care to you. I can’t wait to see this birth plan.

      I think these doctors WOULD rather practice in a totalitarian country where women have no rights – or maybe the middle ages. As an educated woman TTC this scares me for the mother’s out there that are uninformed!

      • Emily Neiman, CNM
        Emily Neiman, CNM06-24-2010

        Thanks, Linsey. We really appreciate the support of the doulas in the community!

        • Natalie
          Natalie07-05-2010

          Emily and Becky– can’t wait to have you catch my baby and support me during my birthing time in the next few days!!! All of the Doulas I interviewed praised your work, and so did my birth educator. A couple I know switched to your practice during the last weeks of their pregnancy once they realized their OB thought he knew better than their birth wishes. Thanks for helping birthing families feel empowered!!

  19. Karen
    Karen06-24-2010

    @ Mrs. Spit you’ve got it in one go find another provider.

    Absolutely unbelievable, I was lucky my birth plan was taken into consideration by by fantastic midwife (thankfully most deliveries in the UK are midwife lead). The doctors wanted to come in towards the end and mind contraction I said the could “F off” as were not needed. Thankfully had my best friend with me as my daughter was early and my Doula was not on call till the following week and did not get the message until I was actually delivering.

    Had a hell of a job when I kept asking why when they wanted to do tests and what is the research base behind that. Because that is “hospital policy” and “all hospital policy is research based” did not cut it I was a neonatal nurse for 12 years yep that longer than you have worked in the speciality isn’t it ;) You are not god give me the research to read let me assess it for myself and stop treating me like a child and an idiot ty

  20. Sharon Gourlay
    Sharon Gourlay06-24-2010

    As a HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator I have been aware of this ban for a couple of months. I can tell you that I am glad that this practice has been so upfront about their position so that I can encourage my parents to seek another care provider in the area. Some great options are: http://www.choicemidwives.org for a home birth or http://www.wchcare.com for a hospital birth with lovely CNM’s. There are also other Care Providers in the area who support doulas, hypnobirthing, and parents making their own educated birth choices. The idea that women “need” their doctor to help make their choices is completely ridiculous. We have been giving birth for millions of years without doctors. Our bodies are made for birthing. Women need to believe and step up because this is a consumer driven decision! Don’t give your birthing energy to Kingsdale Care Providers!!!

  21. Dou-la-la
    Dou-la-la06-24-2010

    Epic. Truly epic. Please tell me you, or someone, sent your revised version to Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates. Or perhaps we should all print a copy of this off & pony up the 44 cents to send it their way, with our AMENS?

    P.S. Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates.
    Dou-la-la´s last blog post ..Fire & Rescue

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-24-2010

      Ha! No…at least not yet. ;-)

    • Julia
      Julia06-25-2010

      YES!! I agree – I think everyone needs to send a letter to these clowns. They need to know & hear VERY LOUDLY how unacceptable this is.

  22. ASusan
    ASusan06-24-2010

    Calling Women’s Contemporary Health Care RIGHT NOW to escape the Kingsdale practice. So glad I saw this today!

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-24-2010

      WOOT!!! You GO, girl!

  23. Thankfully, Thursday « emilieblogs
    Thankfully, Thursday « emilieblogs06-24-2010

    [...] ten (or more) things that I’m insanely thankful for this week….but then I found this blog linked via thefeministbreeder on Facebook and suddenly forgot any and all good thoughts that were [...]

  24. Jenn Doula
    Jenn Doula06-24-2010

    I have also been aware of this situation, and dealing with upset/confused clients, for the past few months. While I don’t feel that doula support or a birth plan is right for EVERY women…I most certainly do believe that every women should have the OPTION!!!

    I am glad that they now are informing clients about this policy when they begin their care, instead of springing it on them at 36 weeks when they feel they don’t have the option to leave the practice. I’m hoping more families see this as a red flag (and run)! There are so many other awesome care providers out there (CNM, CPM & OBs) that will ‘allow’ you to be part of the birthing team. Great edits :)

  25. Eliza
    Eliza06-24-2010

    Good job Kristen, keep the info coming! I love the edits you have done, it’s great!!!
    Eliza´s last blog post ..Our Garden

  26. just me
    just me06-24-2010

    ………….

    (my jaw is still dropped to the floor, and I am still speechless….)

  27. Amy
    Amy06-24-2010

    “-mindless womb pod–”
    LOL!
    thanks for the laugh!
    you go girl!!!

  28. Rebecca S
    Rebecca S06-24-2010

    I wonder if the obstetric packet comes with a free muzzle?

  29. Leslie
    Leslie06-24-2010

    I would love to do an experiment, and take the word “doula” out of this letter and replace it with “elective c-section” and “epidural.” Wonder how many women would be fired up about not having a say in their birth then? I bet it would even make the national news.

    Can’t wait to see that “birth plan” AKA “Our Way or the Highway plan.”
    Leslie´s last blog post ..Friday’s Photo (Father’s Day Edition)

    • Ren
      Ren06-25-2010

      Great point! I bet plenty of women would be very upset if their doctor told them they couldn’t, under any circumstances, have an epidural.

      Oh, the crazy, mixed-up world we live in . . .

  30. Doula Beware
    Doula Beware06-24-2010

    As someone that has had a horrible experience with a doula, I can understand this. I’m sorry, but I’m seeing a lot of reaction (bad, evil, misogynist doctors!), but I’m not seeing any discussion as to why this happened.

    Rather than reacting with rage, maybe it’s time to start asking why? Again, as someone that had a traumatic experience with a doula, I doubt it’s because the medical profession as a whole dislikes doula’s. More than likely a laboring mother (like myself) had their doula go crazy in the delivery room when I choose something she disagreed with. It was awful, I was in tears, near passing out from stress…not at all what I expected from a ‘doula’. After my experience and seeing how traumatized I was, I can see a practice banning doulas.

    I’m sorry but most in your profession do not require licensing, at the extreme, no one needs to take a class; simply declare yourself a ‘doula’.

    I believe this is the reason that you have really bad apples in your profession. More concerned about furthering an agenda than the mother’s wishes. Some (hopefully most) of you are not like that. But a bad doula can be traumatic, and soil your whole profession.

    When you see something like this, please take time to ask ‘why’. I hope it spurs discussion on ethics and professionalism. Additionally, I hope some of you start thinking about creating local branches certifying a doula. It’s best for your profession to start weeding out the agenda driven, extreme, and just plain crazy doulas.

    Until then, I can’t help but celebrate this news a little.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-27-2010

      “Doula Beware,” I am deeply sorry that you had such a traumatic experience with your doula. The situation you describe is not only completely uncalled for but also unprofessional and, quite frankly, shocking. And I can understand completely why you personally would not want to seek out doula-care again.

      Yes, there are “bad apple” doulas. There are bad apple OB/GYNs. There are bad apple midwives (even *gasp* homebirth midwives). There are bad apple nurses. There are “bad apples” in nearly any profession! But just as I would never suggest that one categorically and uncritically dismiss all OB/GYNs (I went to OBs for both of my previous births, as I make abundantly clear in my birth stories!), I don’t think that this practice (or any practice) should categorically dismiss and ban all doulas. It might be reasonable for them to ban a particular doula, but not all doulas.

      For what it’s worth, I am aware of a situation with a local doula, but I don’t think that this blog is the right place to report on that situation. What’s more, there ARE at least three major certifying organizations for doulas in the United States–DONA International, CAPPA, and toLabor (formerly ALACE). Each one of these organizations has extensive discussions and standards and protocols regarding professionalism and ethics. Do you know through which organization your doula was certified? Given the experience you have described, it seems that you have every right to file a grievance with her!

      For others who have read this comment, I urge you to look into your doula’s certification and/or training–and even confirm it with that organization–before you hire her. In addition, if you feel as if your doula acted unethically or unprofessionally during your birth, you have every right to file a grievance with her certifying organization!

  31. Ivy
    Ivy06-24-2010

    I just stumbled across your blog and this post. I LOVE the way you edited the letter! I posted on my blog just now sharing your post and going into the benefits of doulas and how. Had I known then what I know now about postpartum depression and the benefits of a postpartum doula, my husband and I would’ve most definitely hired one! I’ve also added a link to your blog.

    http://ivysppdblog.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/banning-doulas-now-ive-heard-everything/
    Ivy´s last blog post ..Banning Doulas?! Now I’ve Heard Everything!

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-24-2010

      Thanks so much, Ivy!

  32. Kelli
    Kelli06-24-2010

    Unreal! It’s hard to believe that docs that send out this sort of thing still have patients. But, I suppose it is just the state of things. I wonder what they would have said about my great grandmother delivering my 12 pound grand-daddy at home in the 30s. Or my grandmother vaginally delivering my 9 pound daddy and her 5′ even. Hmmm… Big babies… wow! Dangerous.

    • Sherry
      Sherry06-25-2010

      I shared this on Facebook, and commented ” This letter might as well say,” Independent thought will not be tolerated. You WILL be assimilated. Resistance is futile.”

      And Kelli- I agree. My grandmother had 4 kids- all at hime, and her smallest- my mother- was a 12 pounder. Her first was 15 pounds.And she,too, was barely 5′ tall. And OMG- her and all four babies LIVED.

  33. Lisa
    Lisa06-24-2010

    Um…Wow.

    I have a similar situation to some previous posters–I am a childbirth educator and doula in an area where there is not much interest in or support for natural childbirth, and one of the two hospitals in town has *really* archaic practices that go against everything that can help ensure a low-intervention birth…so when I have people who express interest in my classes/services who are seeing an OB in that practice, I tell them that I can’t help them unless they switch to the other hospital!!

  34. Lisa
    Lisa06-24-2010

    ps–Here’s their contact information if anyone wants to write/call/fax to express your disgust/concern. I don’t live anywhere near Columbus and I still think I’m going to contact them…

    Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates
    1315 West Lane Avenue
    Columbus, Ohio 43221
    Click here for Directions

    Phone: (614) 457-4827
    Fax: (614) 326-0250

  35. Amy Phair
    Amy Phair06-24-2010

    that’s insane… what a horrendous path the so called “care” of women is taking :( i am shaking to think what the future holds for me birthing my future babies and for my little girls (i have two already) as they grow up… what will their choices look like when it comes time for them to start their families?? I am horrified to think they will have no choice but to be locked up, tied down, drugged up to the eye balls and have their babies roughly and dangerously ripped from them and then be left wondering why they feel violated and abused… :( **cries**

  36. KathySkes
    KathySkes06-24-2010

    Love “mindless womb-pod”! The letter, of course, is much better with the edits. Now THAT would be honest.

  37. MotherWit Doula
    MotherWit Doula06-24-2010

    Girl, that was awesome! We live in frightening times, my doula sister. I am pretty sure I’ll be seeing some papers like that soon from a hospital or two in my area.

    Not allowing women the choice of who supports them is a violation of their rights. I hope there are some major protests, and a massive boycotting of that hospital.

    They are counting on women just saying, “oh, okay, Sir..you know better than I what I need in birth, and will hand all of my trust and power over to you.” I am sending hopes that there is a major, stinky revolt. I hope thousands of women from your town see this blog and seriously reconsider who provides their primary medical care.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-24-2010

      The one thing I find heartening is that I’ve already received comments on the blog and seen other comments on message boards in which women have declared that they will be LEAVING this practice! Hopefully Kingsdale notices that “something is up” when they see women fleeing their practice.

      It might be a small revolt now, but I do hope that it is the start of something bigger.

  38. homebirthsforme
    homebirthsforme06-24-2010

    Has the hospital they use banned doulas or just the practice? Because if it were me, I’d hire a doula anyway and dare them to kick her out if it wasn’t against hospital policy. And when did they forget that a patient is a customer and should be treated as such??

    I have had a practice refuse to see me after 36 wks because I was planning a homebirth (which I was upfront about from the beginning), but they never tried to tell me I wouldn’t have been allowed to have my midwife act as doula if I went to the hospital either.

    Has anyone checked into the legality of this???

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-25-2010

      Nope, the hospital where they work has not banned doulas! And no, I’m not sure on the legality of this ban–any lawyers want to chime in on this question? I’ve been thinking about this issue too.

    • ASusan
      ASusan06-25-2010

      The hospital may have not banned doulas, but I will tell you that the hospital they use is the ‘baby factory’ of Ohio (10 admits after me, and I was admitted at noon), and ANY deviation from standard labor & delivery practice (e.g., eating or drinking during labor, hep well instead of IV…) requires advance written permission from your OB. I was the ONLY woman laboring w/o drugs on the day I delivered.

  39. B
    B06-25-2010

    I think that even women who don’t want a doula should be appalled at that letter and shift to a new ob-gyn practice. It cuts off a woman’s choice for how she is attended in labour and birth, and shows a hostile attitude towards those with differing viewpoints than their own. What are they going to do, start to interview husbands and grandmothers about their views on birth before allowing them to attend to the mother in labour?

  40. The WellRounded Mama
    The WellRounded Mama06-25-2010

    Wow. The paternalism and condescension in this document just makes my head spin. They portray pretty typical obstetrics attitudes against e-patients (informed consumers) but they sound like they’re from the 50s, for heaven’s sake. Never question, don’t worry your pretty little head about it, we know what’s best, don’t protest even when we don’t follow evidence-based safest care practices. Ugh.

    I really REALLY hope someone copies the revised version of this birth plan and mails it into the Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates practice. Multiple times.

    May this piece serve as an excellent warning to women against going to the Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates practice! I especially loved this bit:

    “Questions are unsafe. Resistance is futile. Paternalism tastes like chocolate.”

    Good one!!!
    The WellRounded Mama´s last blog post ..Happy Birthday to Me!

  41. old mom
    old mom06-25-2010

    The distinction they attempt to make between women’s own birth plans, and their own in-house policy – which they bizarrely refer to as a “birth plan” too – is completely ridiculous. Either they don’t understand what the term “birth plan” means – a written outline of a woman’s plans for her labor and birth – or they imagine they can lure in expectant by co-opting the vocabulary of natural birth, but what they are actually stating is that birth plans are BANNED at their practice. Women there are not allowed to have birth plans – they are not to state personal preferences for their births. Rather, they are to be told what the practice’s predetermined routines are for all births. How twisted and perverse.

  42. Molly
    Molly06-25-2010

    It’s their practice they can do what they want…I support it 100%

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-25-2010

      Of course they can do what they want. But it doesn’t mean that what they do is reasonable, acceptable, appropriate, evidence-based, encouraging, respectful, or autonomy-promoting.

  43. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth06-25-2010

    I had one OB at my practice have issues with my Birth Plan (granted it was like 3 pages long). He did not deliver my baby.

    The OB who talked to me about my plan and had questions about my preferences and sat with me, my doula, and husband while in labor (even though he was not ‘on’) did. He said when I was in labor it was my show, and he let it be that way.

    I would NOT deliver there..
    Elizabeth´s last blog post ..June Giveaway!!

  44. catholichippie
    catholichippie06-25-2010

    I wish I could say “unbelieveable” but unfortunately I’ve heard more and more of this sort of thing, what’s truly sad is the number of women that will accept this without question. Thank you for sharing!

  45. Erika
    Erika06-25-2010

    OMG. I’m completely horrified by this! I can’t even form any coherent thoughts.
    Erika´s last blog post ..Some gratitude to share

  46. Frequently Asked Questions About Doulas « Whole Mothering Center
    Frequently Asked Questions About Doulas « Whole Mothering Center06-25-2010

    [...] Another Doula Ban, Another Bad birth Plan from BirthingBeautifulIdeas.com [...]

  47. Michelle H
    Michelle H06-25-2010

    Dear Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates,

    You’re fired.

    And every single one of my friends, family and acquaintances are going to leave or avoid your tyrranical kingdom.

    Sincerely,
    Empowered Pregnant Mother

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-26-2010

      *cheers*

  48. Andrea
    Andrea06-25-2010

    I will be sending this revised version to them, and I am no where near them. Homebirth for me all the way!! My midwife asks what I want, doesn’t even wait for me to tell her…and that’s how it should be!

  49. Kate
    Kate06-25-2010

    Horrifying! I, too, have been aware of the Kingsdale anti-doula policy for a few months, but I hadn’t seen the letter.

    Who are they to say that THEIR birth plan is the only one a woman would need?? That is unbelievably arrogant. Yes, clients need to RUN as far as they can in the opposite direction! Do not stop, just leave! Any doctor who tells you that their education/experience is such that you should not ask questions but should simply feel safe in their care and do what they tell you should be abandoned immediately. That completely disrespects the partnership of doctor-patient! PARTNERSHIP, are you listening, Kingsdale Gynecological Association?

    It was attitudes like this that screwed up my (perfectly normal) first birth. My second baby was born at home with CHOICE and I couldn’t have been happier.

  50. Lesia
    Lesia06-25-2010

    I’m speechless. This is absolutely unbelievable and very scary.

    But hey, at least moms that are actaully interested in this type of restricted draconian birth can talk to their grandparents about what they can expect! …

  51. Kristi
    Kristi06-25-2010

    All I can say is THANK GOODNESS they’ve named the practice so that women can RUN AS FAST AS THEY CAN IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!!!!! Those doctors should have their licences pulled. I can’t believe they think they can dictate something like this!!!!

  52. Lindsey Ann
    Lindsey Ann06-25-2010

    I’ve been a doula for about a year now and am a future midwife. Becoming a doula is the best experience that I’ve had in my 22 years and plan to incorporate what I learn into my practice as a midwife.

    Although I am a huge advocate for natural birth, I still feel that medical procedures have their place, whether it be C-sections or other forms of medical intervention, if the birth takes a turn for the worst or complications occur. I wish it was a two-way street, that every medical professional felt the same about doulas and the work that they do.

    I really wish I could meet these people and see what their problem is with people like me. I’ve had moms who get technical terms throw at them during the peak of their contractions by doctors, that I have explained to them after they’ve left. I’ve seen women talked into unnecessary procedures; I am not there to tell them what to do, I am there to support them in whatever they believe is the best option for them.

    Doctors need to learn that doulas benefit them. We catch things that medical equipment can’t detect, like extreme discomfort and changes in attitude; we notice the little things. I’ve had doctors, midwives, and nurses turn to ME and not other family members when the mom isn’t sure of an answer to a question. I’ve lucked out that I work at a hospital where doulas are understood as valuable assets and respected for their work.

    Kingsdale needs to get their head checked, and possibly a slap in the face. What’s next…banning fathers from the births of their children because they love their wives too much? Seriously.

  53. Lynnette
    Lynnette06-25-2010

    Oh my word! Your edits are spot on! I am so thankful for my SIL who introduced home-births to me. My 11lb 1oz, first baby was followed by a 9 lb 6oz sister. Both were born at home safely and lovely with only my husband and two midwives. I know had I been in a hospital the doctors’ “experience” would have ended in cesareans.

  54. Slee
    Slee06-25-2010

    I’m really glad you posted this since it’s hard to find any reviews of Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates, and I know some people in the Columbus, OH area might be wondering how to pick the right OB/GYN and may even be wondering where to deliver. I’m sickened by the way Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates treats their patients and their general attitude toward which steps a woman is allowed to take with regards to her own body and the birthing process. The fact that Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates won’t allow Doulas makes me wonder if it’s more to make sure there aren’t any mostly objective witnesses around to give details for malpractice lawsuits after they dehumanize a woman, cut her unnecessarily, and use half-assed excuses in the process.

  55. Ashley
    Ashley06-25-2010

    wow, I’m amazed at the lack of concern for their patient’s birth plans. Sickening, but again any mother who chooses to use these doctors know the risk up front. I know for me I would be gone, my birth plan comes before my doctor’s “preference” of who is in the birthing room. Seems like these doctor’s are probably tired of hearing mom’s speak up for themselves because a good doula told them the risks involved with unnecessary intervention. Go doulas!

  56. t in hd
    t in hd06-25-2010

    Please, oh please, pop your edited version of their letter into an envelope and post it to them!

  57. Susan M.
    Susan M.06-25-2010

    My OB is with KGA and they didn’t have this policy with my first child and I used a doula. With my second child I mentioned early in passing about my doula. A few weeks before the birth, however, I mentioned it again and the doctor–not my regular–informed me of this policy. I was very grateful they grandfathered me in. I was prepared to find a new doctor, but did not really want to do that so late in the process.

    When I talked to my doctor about it, she made some good points about a few situations they’d had where the doula intervened, at risk to the woman’s health. She said they made the decision because they couldn’t OK doulas for some patients (who they would knew would trust them if a situation like that arose) or some doulas (who they’d worked with and trusted) without OKing all of them.

    I still don’t agree with their decision. If I were to have another child, I would not have it with them because my doula is my rock. But I did get the feeling from talking to my doctor that it was not a decision they made lightly, nor was it unanimous.

    Oddly, she also said that only about 1% of their patients choose to use a doula, and fewer than that use them repeatedly. Again, I can’t imagine not using a doula, so I was surprised by that too, but it does suggest they know their patients, and that I was not a good fit for that practice.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-25-2010

      Susan, I’m aware (at least from the periphery) of the situation you mentioned, and I realize that it is a serious concern (even if I don’t know all of the details of the situation). I suppose that’s why I included my (admittedly snarky) paragraph about banning particular doulas rather than doulas as a whole. Their decision just seems to throw the baby out with the bathwater–pun intended!

      • Knitted in the Womb
        Knitted in the Womb06-25-2010

        I wonder if the doctors in the practice made any attempt to talk to the doula to find out her point of view?

        I know that sometimes doulas are blamed for doing things that are actually the choices of their clients, and the doula might even disagree with the client.

    • Barbara
      Barbara06-27-2010

      Susan – if only 1% of their patients use doulas – then WHAT is the big deal??? Seems to me that small number really shouldn’t create a problem… Seems to me if that is the correct percentage there’s a bigger scheme behind the protocol…

  58. Elexa
    Elexa06-25-2010

    Oh no. This is in Ohio? Sickening! Anyway, I had my 2 babies at home (planned,on purpose) with the help of my 2 midwives from C.H.O.I.C.E. in the central Ohio Columbus area. They have doulas, too. If you transfer to the hospital (or I guess plan to go there) one midwife will stay with the mother, and one stays with the baby. These ladies spent at least an hour a month talking with, monitoring, taking care of, and teaching/mentoring me. This ‘practice’ is at least second generation, as my Mom used them when my sister was born. I can’t write enough about them here. They were and are THE BEST!

  59. safebirthing
    safebirthing06-26-2010

    I would like to know what the induction, epidural and c/s rates are at this institution.

    I’d also love to see their stats for spontaneous vaginal births for primips, intact perineums, and breastfeeding rates at 6 weeks and 6 months after the birth.

    As to a doula ban, if I were asked to be a doula for a planned birth at an institution like this, I would suggest the parents find out the above statistics themselves, and read the prescribed birth plan themselves. Then I’d ask, are they sure they want an obstetrically-managed birth and are they certain a normal/natural birth is NOT what they want? I would ask them, do they realise that having a doula at a birth in an institution touting protocols like this will not do a thing to protect them or increase the odds of dodging intervention, and if they actually do want a fair chance at a normal birth, it’s not a doula they need, it’s a change of birth venue and care provider. Which is my slightly more restrained way of saying, “RUN!!!!!! RUN AWAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!”

    Revolting scenarios like this occur when an obstetric monopoly over birth services has been established, and when midwifery and natural birth options have been marginalised and demonised by the obstetric/pharaceutical/litigation moguls. And when parents then believe they have no other socially-acceptable, widely-approved of options, and are nervous and ambivalent about any options beyond the pale of the Mainstream.

  60. Weekly News Round-Up, New Blog Template Edition « Women's Health News
    Weekly News Round-Up, New Blog Template Edition « Women's Health News06-27-2010

    [...] has two posts on the Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates in Ohio and its “birth plan” and apparent ban on doulas. One example from the “birth plan,” in the section on episiotomies, that I think is [...]

  61. Katherine
    Katherine06-27-2010

    This is sickening! The one small thing that might be of any good from this terrible letter is that perhaps, just perhaps, some of the women will be curious enough and strong willed enough to investigate what this terrible thing called a “doula” is!

    The lengths to which the medical community go to entrench our culture in the fears of normal birth never cease to amaze me! How on earth did the human race survive for millennium without obstetricians!?!

    • Whatever
      Whatever08-25-2010

      There was a much higher mortality rate — there’s your answer.

      • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
        BirthingBeautifulIdeas08-25-2010

        Fair enough–I would agree that many medical advancements (such as the introduction of better sanitary practices, antibiotics, and yes, cesarean section) have improved the maternal and neonatal mortality rates. But this is much different than saying that all medical practices (like high induction and cesarean rates) have improved mortality rates. If anything, some obstetric practices are harming rather than helping women.

  62. Trebor
    Trebor06-28-2010

    I’ve read this ludicrous letter..Perfect Parody…. So true Katherine, let’s cling to the hopes that some women will be intuitive enough to at least seek out what a Doula is.

  63. Jess B
    Jess B06-28-2010

    I’m not sure of the legality of this, but there is something call Anti-trust law that prohibits a group from making it impossible for another group to do business. So in this situation, Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates banning doulas from working with their patients might possibly be construed as them getting in the way of a doula’s ability to do business in Columbus. Of course, there are lots of other places that doulas can find clients, but this particular office might be guilty of violating anti-trust laws. I’m not a lawyer, but after speaking to someone who has had several conversations with lots of other birth professionals (and lawyers in that group), this is what I have come up with. If nothing else, this would be a good place to start research about whether this is legal or not.

  64. Amy
    Amy06-28-2010

    A practice in my area has just done the same thing — only with Bradley classes!
    you may hear from my student about the letter she received.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-28-2010

      That’s BIZARRE! And are they actually BANNING their patients from going to Bradley classes? Do they have spies waiting outside the classes to make sure that no one from their practice walks through the door? Sheesh…

  65. Renee Smith
    Renee Smith06-29-2010

    This is so unbelievable… universal birth plan? What is universal about a woman in labor beside her natural ability and urge to give birth?! Every delivery is so different!

    We are such a profit driven society that many women have totally forgotten how to give birth, putting themselves at serious risk because of the interventions that doctors choose out of convenience… RUN AWAY from this practice!

    My doctor in Houston recommended my doula, and the hospital where I deliver lets her run the show outside of their periodic protocol-driven vital statistic checks. She knows the hospital’s “rules” and because of her reputation as an excellent practitioner, the L&D staff turn the other way when she is with her patients. I could not be happier with the option of a hospital birth without intervention. For my first birth she was out of the country (baby came 2 weeks early, on Christmas day), and things did not go as I would have liked.

    At the very end I was told not to push so they could situate my epidural (which I had refused all day before I finally snapped moments before the urge to push). When they finally flipped me back onto my back, they kind of shrugged their shoulders like “oh, we should go get your doctor, because your frantic screaming that you had to push was indeed correct.” The baby was out before the epidural kicked in, and I still do not understand why they would tell a laboring mother not to push (isn’t that the whole idea of birthing?); the only reason I can come up with is the HUGE amount of money they take to the bank because they stuck one more mom with a needle in the back.

  66. KJ
    KJ06-30-2010

    Oh gosh, it’s so EASY to write a comprehensive birth plan that will cover every possible woman in every possible scenario, isn’t it? Probably it would go something like:

    All Your Birth Are Belong To Us.

    no wait, that’s too internet in-joke. how about this:

    DO AS WE SAY.

    Ahhhh! Simple, to the point, and totally truthful. (Hospital staff,if you’re reading, please feel free to borrow it.)

  67. Birth Advocates or Extremists in Disguise? | Momotics
    Birth Advocates or Extremists in Disguise? | Momotics06-30-2010

    [...] there is a time and place for rants, and for raves. I saw some amazingly authored ones this week by Kristen at Birthing Beautiful Ideas, and from my all time favorite blogger Gina The Feminist Breeder, which talked about Doula Bans and [...]

  68. Recent Home Birth Study by AJOG May Be Deeply Flawed | Bring Birth Home
    Recent Home Birth Study by AJOG May Be Deeply Flawed | Bring Birth Home07-02-2010

    [...] this article Doulas Are Banned, Another Bad Birth Plan, at Birthing Beautiful Ideas points out what might go wrong in that department. And the Feminist [...]

  69. Robin Davis
    Robin Davis07-12-2010

    Let me get this straight this came from an OB/GYN practice group in the year 2010?? So I guess the term “Doctors having a God complex” is not too far from the truth here for this group. And their patients should be like lambs led to slaughter?? I know that’s a bit harsh but that’s what it seems like to me. Do as we say we are your Doctors!! What’s interesting to me is if a Doctor oversteps their decree while practicing in a hospital; the hospital administration will investigate the doctor and their actions and determine if there was adverse conduct on their part. Yet the post by Susan M who is or was a patient with this group never mentioned if they actually confronted the Doula on her actions. Did they not know that a Doula who is certified through an association has a grievance policy?
    And anyone who observes a Doula stepping outside their scope of practice can report them to the association who certified them and an investigation will ensue?? I know CAPPA has one and I know DONA does too.
    I think any Doula who practices as mini Midwives and beyond their scope are treading on thin ice; and hurting the rest of our profession who is finally just now in the last ten years being regarded as valuable members of a laboring woman’s support team. Unfortunately the women in this community might never know that just one Doula banned all Doula’s from being of service to the women in this practice.
    If I lived in this community I’d be contacting the newspapers and bring this action by the OB/GYN group to light. I’d also investigate the Anti Trust Laws too.

    Robin Davis,
    Nurse, Doula, Prenatal Massage Therapist.

  70. Twelfth Carnival of Feminist Parenting « Mothers For Women’s Lib
    Twelfth Carnival of Feminist Parenting « Mothers For Women’s Lib07-15-2010

    [...] Another Doula Ban, Another Bad Birth Plan posted at Birthing Beautiful Ideas. [...]

  71. Rachel M
    Rachel M07-22-2010

    Read Marsden Wagner’s essay on the economics of maternity care. They probably KNOW that doulas decrease interventions. That decreases their billable services. Just like if you own a candy store, you don’t want someone roaming around your store telling your customers not to buy candy, or offering healthier alternatives, they don’t want people around who squash their “sales”.

    My bet is this is not just about annoyance, this is a marketing decision.

    But if enough women see through this and just go to another candy store, this can and will backfire in their face.

  72. Roanna Rosewood
    Roanna Rosewood08-09-2010

    This is truly mind-blowing. Thanks for sharing it. I much prefer what Dr. John H Kennell says “If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”
    Roanna Rosewood´s last blog post ..Secret to Opening the Cervix

  73. Susan Peterson
    Susan Peterson08-21-2010

    I tend to think that control and world view are the drivers of this rather than money, for individual doctors.
    Money has a hidden effect, in that it affects who can fund studies, publish journals, run seminars for doctors on new drugs and devices etc etc. Money surely affects a hospital’s decision to have OB’s, who do so many more money making interventions, rather than midwives, on staff.
    But for the individual OB’s, they have their “truth” about birth. They are afraid of bad outcomes and lawsuits and this makes them want to be even more in control. They don’t see a C section as at all a bad outcome. If mother and baby are healthy, they want praise, not blame for doing it. They have seen dead and damaged babies, and they think women are idiots for taking what they consider to be a risk of having that happen to them. Their experiences in their environment confirm them in their worldview. I really don’t think many OB’s really think “I am going to cut this woman in order to earn a larger fee.”
    Like most people they don’t see individual examples of harm done by their system as indicting the whole system, just as home birth advocates don’t see the rare baby who dies at home as meaning no one should have a home birth.
    They think “Well that doctor used X intervention carelessly, but I won’t do that,” just as we think “Well that midwife didn’t pick upon x, y, and z and transport, but my midwife and I would recognize those signs.” Or,” I myself would,” if they are birthing without a midwife. So if these doctors believe that what they do, the way they handle birth, is what provides safety, they are going to feel that those who object and argue with their protocols are a danger and just more than they can deal with.

    Of course, I too would RUN like hell, if someone handed me this to sign! ( If I were young enough to be having a baby, which I am not. My youngest of 9 just turned 21.) I even ran like hell when I had one appointment with a doctor who did some home births, when his midwife approached me as soon as I came into the waiting room and said “I’m the one who will be *managing* your labor.” That one word, “managing” told me all I needed to know. The doctor and I did not see eye to eye either, and I found other help. (Had an easy home birth with a DEM and back up and support by my family practitioner. That baby, now 32, just had an unmedicated uninterfered with birthing center birth.) People need to listen to these signs, whatever level of provider they choose. This letter is about as clear cut a sign to stay away as I can imagine.

    Susan Peterson

  74. Frank Um
    Frank Um10-23-2010

    I have been searching for good recommendations on natural health and think that your site is a good source of information. It is difficult to find reliable suggestions on the Web, but I think I can use this information! If you have any more reliable suggestions, please let me know. Thanks a million!

  75. On My Mind
    On My Mind11-25-2010

    [...] as reported over at Birthing Beautiful Ideas, an OB/GYN practice in central Ohio just sent out a letter banning doulas and individualized birth plans and offered their own cookie-cutter birth plan. My outrage about the birth plan was somewhat [...]

  76. Marlene
    Marlene12-21-2010

    These docs have Munchhaussen-by-proxy syndrome, no doubt about it. Hospital practices like bans on VBAC’s, and now even doulas & Bradley classes(?!?!?!?) just prove it!
    Things like these are whats driving the homebirth rates up. Let them do whatever they like there, we’ll just stay home and do what we like!

  77. Wolfmother
    Wolfmother04-11-2011

    How arrogant of them to think they have the right to force women to birth in THEIR way with the people THEY choose to be present. Sounds like they are losing control of their birthing empire and are flailing about madly trying to regain ground.
    Wolfmother´s last blog post ..Not So Crunchy After All

  78. Datura
    Datura05-31-2011

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for posting this! I have been a client at Kingsdale since puberty. I have always loved the care I have received there. My husband and I have just decided that we want to have children, and when it happens, I really want to explore my options (thinking home birth). Anyway, I had NO idea this ‘contract’ existed there. None. I was trying to look up their address when I randomly saw this blog post on google. This is a major ‘holy shit’ moment for me!! I will be finding another OB/GYN asap. Thank you thank you thank you! You rule. :)

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-02-2011

      You know, if you do have a good experience with them with gynecological care, you can always continue to go to them for well woman visits and then use another practice for obstetric or midwifery services!

  79. stacy karp
    stacy karp06-29-2011

    Hi, this article made me sad. I have delivered all six of my children with Kingsdale and had the most wonderful experience with all my babies. I have never seen nor signed any such document from my OB ever. I dont know how accurate you information is but after six birth plans discussed and decided by me, the birthing mother, and supported and encouraged by by my compassionate and patient OBs (three different ones over the course of 12 years), I would have to say your info is incorrect. Ignorance is sad, and sarcastic bitterness for whatever reason is even sadder!!

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-30-2011

      I agree that it’s sad, mostly because many of the doulas I’ve spoken to were shocked that it was Kingsdale, in fact, that instituted the doula ban. But numerous of their pregnant clients had received both this document and the birth plan document. My guess is that if you weren’t pregnant by the time they instituted the doula ban and birth plan (June of 2010), then you wouldn’t have known about this policy.

      To be clear, I would never insinuate that no one has ever, in the history of the practice, had a good experience with Kingsdale. That would be ridiculous! But I sure am bitter about limiting women’s choices in such a non-nuanced (and even non-evidence based) sort of way! Ban individual doulas, sure, and be very clear about practice protocol that doctor(s) aren’t willing to “budge” on: but a universal birth plan and doula ban just seems silly (to say the least).

  80. Deborah
    Deborah09-30-2011

    This makes me so sad. They obviously know better than the woman laboring. :(. The more I learn the more I am confident in my next birth being at home. I work in the hospital obstetrical industry as a newborn nurse and I’m ashamed to say I hate the L & D part. I love taking care of the babies but hate the “oppressive” ideas of the OB at my hospital.

  81. Pat Dodge
    Pat Dodge02-15-2012

    I hope someone has shared this letter with the hospitals where this group is on staff. I would think it is in direct opposition to the patient’s bill of rights.

  82. Beth
    Beth03-19-2012

    I am a former L&D nurse and current NICU nurse where I have seen first hand doula, birth plans and unrealistic expectations of parents lead to dangerous consequences to mother and babies both. There are facilities that are suited for and geared for the more homeopathic births these women request. My question to you is if you are so against the practices of hospitals and the protocols they use to keep everyone safe why do you choose a hospital birth instead of home birth.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas03-19-2012

      I am not against hospital protocols and policies as a general rule! Not at all. I’m just against hospitals that have policies and protocol that are against evidence-based practice (and I’m talking simple things here, like immediate skin-to-skin after birth if mom and baby are healthy, intermittent monitoring for low risk births, judicious use of episiotomy, etc.).

      I will agree with you that unrealistic expectations in general are unhelpful. But again, I’m not sure that it is out of the question to expect evidence-based care (which includes doula support for parents who want it–have you seen the latest Cochrane review?), nor is it out the question to expect an explanation when a care provider might take a detour from what the evidence suggests. (And I’m sure that there are times when this may be the “right” thing to do!)

  83. Mandy
    Mandy04-03-2012

    Who cares what they have written? That is their policy, if you don’t like it, don’t use them as a care provider? Isn’t that simpler than ranting and raving like idiots on the internet? Everyone has a right to their own beliefs and if there are other practices who believe in the use of Doula’s then their philosophical beliefs meet yours. Why create this pathetic excuse of a forum, ripping apart a group who isn’t even given a chance to defend themselves. This is the epitome of ignorance, reasonable people are able to intellectually debate both sides without written useless criticism founded on nothing about a group of people they have never meet or known, who by the way, once you end up in an Emergency situation with your birth, you will insist they save your live and the life of your child and you will give no thanks to. It sounds like it is YOU all who are the selfish ones with only yours interests at heart.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas04-03-2012

      Thanks for stopping by with your thoughtful ray of sunshine, Mandy!

      The problem is that many women WERE happy with this group and were flabbergasted at this policy, which forced them to choose between staying with their OB/GYN or finding another (some of them, mid-pregnancy) that would support the use of doulas.

      What’s more, the letter smacked of paternalism, plain and simple.

      Finally, my response was in no way a dismissal of the ability of OB/GYNs to save lives in the case of birth emergencies. Please use that ray of sunshine to illuminate my position a little more closely! (Just to clarify: it was a criticism of this OB/GYN group’s letter and the policy it represented–NOT a criticism of OB/GYNs in general. That would be stupid for someone like me, who has given birth twice with OB/GYNs.)

  84. amanda
    amanda04-24-2012

    I’d like to add, where are all these “big’ babies coming from? I don’t recall a mass of inadequate pelvis’ walking around. Especially in the Midwest. These hips were made for birthing! ;) I had two “big babies” just fine. I’d like to add, I’m 5 foot 1. My doctor expressed concerns that I may have trouble with this ‘big baby’ and should keep other options open. I countered him with, “Doc, this is my second child. I birthed my big headed son just fine. Oh and he was 8.7 my ‘robust’ daughter was born AT HOME unassisted (incidentally a fast labor)at a ‘hefty’ 8.9oz..shows what he knows ;)

    My mother in law who is 5′ tall delivered a 10lb 3oz boy vaginally. I don’t know who made them experts in pelvis size. I’ve not once had a tape measure put from my tail bone to my pubic bone. So how do they know?? Jerks.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas04-25-2012

      I too dislike a “one-size fits all” approach to suspected macrosomia/big babies. If it is the result of uncontrolled gestational diabetes (or Type I or Type II diabetes), then that is one thing. But sometimes, larger babies really DO run in families! What’s more, even ACOG doesn’t recommend a prophylactic induction or cesarean section when the only issue is *suspected* macrosomia (unless the baby is near 11 pounds, I believe).

      And go you for birthin’ those babies. :)

  85. What is Patient-Centered Maternity Care? « Evidence Based Birth
    What is Patient-Centered Maternity Care? « Evidence Based Birth07-24-2012

    [...] (in full-blown labor) out of the hospital unless she consents to an unnecessary procedure, or a implementing a practice-wide ban on doulas (yes, a doula ban is in place in an obstetrics practice in Columbus, Ohio). Physician or [...]

  86. Emily
    Emily06-24-2013

    Is this ban still in effect? It makes me really nervous since my community only has one option for birthing mothers. I also know of some crazy doulas here who are doing all sorts of things to make L&D go insane! However, the head nurse has told me that I am a very welcome addition to the ‘team’ so hopefully, I could talk to her if this ever became a reality here. (I became a doula a couple years ago.) We don’t have any midwives within 5 hrs. of us!

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas06-25-2013

      As far as I know, it is still in effect. And yes–there was at least one, possibly two doulas who WERE causing problems at local hospitals. I just found it so disappointing that instead of banning these particular doulas, the practiced banned doulas altogether.

      I think that proactive outreach with local OB/GYNs and midwives can be great. You can set up a time to take lunch (or even a light snack) and discuss what you do, what’s in your scope (and what’s not), and how you envision yourself as part of a team (and not as an adversarial presence in the birth room). You might find that you start getting referrals this way!

  87. Kasey Rawlings
    Kasey Rawlings06-28-2013

    Could they possible say, "we want to make more money from all this extra stuff we can do to you and your baby" any louder?

  88. What’s So Bad about a Doula Ban and a Universal Birth Plan Anyway?
    What’s So Bad about a Doula Ban and a Universal Birth Plan Anyway?08-31-2013

    […] darn dusty) is finally settling.  By that, I mean that I’ve finally been able to look at the doula ban and birth plan with less snark and shouting-from-the-rooftops and more reasoned, tempered […]

  89. Karen Kaplan
    Karen Kaplan11-16-2013

    Typical doctors attitude toward women

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas
      BirthingBeautifulIdeas11-17-2013

      I’m not sure that it is entirely typical. In fact, most doctors whom I have encountered don’t have this attitude. The ones that do, however, undermine both patient autonomy and people’s general impression of what doctors are like.

  90. Deborah Mills
    Deborah Mills04-19-2014

    Oh, how sad. I just moved to Ohio. Power-trip doctors.

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