You can do it, doctor! I know you can! (So let me push how I please.)
Dear Dr. OB-GYN,
You have some really amazing skills. You have a vast array of challenging, admirable, and even life-saving skills of which you should be proud.
You have intricate knowledge of the female anatomy.
You can perform a cervical biopsy.
You can detect a lump in a woman’s breast.
You can diagnose pre-eclampsia, endometriosis, or any number of sexually transmitted diseases.
You can perform an external cephalic version.
You can perform a vaginal exam.
You can perform a cesarean section.
You can perform a colposcopy, cryosurgery, a LEEP procedure, a hysteroscopy, a pelvic laparoscopy, and a D&C.
And the above list barely scratches the surface of the multitude of diagnostic and procedural skills that you possess!
But then with all of these skills under your belt, why do you claim that you cannot catch a baby unless a woman is pushing while flat on her back?
Dr. OB-GYN, I believe in you! If you can learn how to perform a laparoscopic hysterectomy, then surely you can learn how to catch a baby while a woman is not in the lithotomy (or “stranded beetle”) position!
YOU CAN DO IT!
You can learn how to catch a baby while a woman is:
- In a squat
- Leaning/kneeling over the back of the bed or the back of a chair or over a birth ball or against a wall
- Lying on her side
- On her hands and knees
- Or any combination of these positions
You can learn to allow a woman’s body to follow her natural urge to push! You can learn how to encourage a woman to gain the benefit of gravity while pushing! You can learn the birthing positions that help to rotate a posterior baby or that reduce the chance of vaginal lacerations or episiotomies or that help to improve fetal oxygenation!
And please don’t take offense, but even if it is easier for you to get a visual of the baby while a woman is pushing flat on her back, it’s not about what is easier for you. I can assure you that a mom who is pushing a baby out of her vagina is working much, much harder than you are!
So take a moment. Learn a little. Consulting a midwife–or even The Lamaze Healthy Birth Practice Papers–may be a good place to start!
And once you’ve learned how to catch a baby from a variety of pushing positions, feel free to brag about how you have added one more skill to your dazzling array of OB-GYN talents.