Wow. So, our latest birth rally has sparked a LOT of controversy. You can follow differing perspectives in the comment section of our most recent youtube video. This is great, and exactly what we want! As one of our ralliers says in the video, we’re “all about dialogue”.
You can read more about the video and its topic in my previous blog post, or watch it here:
As people drive out of the hospital parking lot and see our signs, we have gotten a few scowls. We even recieved one profane gesture from someone who was recognized as a highly-rated obstetrician working at the hospital.
We also get a lot of smiles and thumbs ups, and the occasional person will stop to ask us what our concerns are and what we’d like to see change. Still, the hospital administrators and obstetricians, the people with the power to facilitate change, have so far not been especially interested in hearing what we have to say.
I can certainly understand that some hospital staff’s gut reactions to us would be negative. We’re all human, and we all can be sensitive to criticisms and would all prefer to be validated and appreciated in our work than be critiqued. But in order to create continual growth and positive change, it’s also important to stay open to constructive feedback, to listen to views other than our own, and take a look at the way we are doing things from time to time and assess whether or not some change is in order.
Many of the women who attend our rallies are women who had negative hospital experiences. These women have tried to address their concerns through appropriate administrative avenues through the hospital. But issues like lack of the right to give or refuse consent to health care before treatments (treatments with very serious long-term health reprecussions), have so far not seemed to be taken extremely seriously by hospital administration.
I find I often am hired for my doula services by women/couples who have had previously challenging birth experiences and want to feel more informed and supported this time around. I hear the stories of these women’s previous births, and I know discussion needs to happen in order to create a change for the better.
My hope is that the medical community feels the same way. That instead of seeing our Birth Rally group as the opposition, they see us as a determined group of women who have some excellent insight on how to improve the experiences of birthing women and make sure their rights and choices are being respected.
I’m open to constructive feedback from birthing women, their partners, and other birth professionals about my contribution to childbirth. I’d like medical birth professionals to be open as well. We all have chosen to dedicate our lives and time to women, birth and babies. I’d love for us all to be open to facilitating options and choices that work for women, and open to learning how to all work and communicate together to make that happen. Let’s dialogue.
For more information on what we are trying to acheive, read Vancouver Birth Rally – Why?
You can also follow us on facebook to find out about our future events and to join in on the discussion.