Monday, May 21, 2007

To Dream The Impossible Dream

Last night I dreamt I cursed out an anesthesiologist.

In my dream he was saying he didn't understand why any woman would want to deliver vaginally when it is sooooo much easier to have a surgical birth. I could not restrain myself, and I asked him if he ever tried to recover from abdominal surgery and breastfeed a baby. He replied with "And another thing, why would anyone breastfeed anyway. We have formula, why not use it?"

This was only a dream.

For starters, I would never have an altercation in a hospital, especially in front of a client. It's always important to maintain the birth space for a laboring mama. She needs her support people to protect her from any stress, to make her feel like the universe is aligned and that wherever she is birthing her baby is the perfect place to be. There is no room for egos in a birthing room.
In addition, one of my colleagues and I are always talking about building bridges. Even though doulas are beginning to become more and more mainstream, there are still misconceptions about us floating around the obstetrical world. Every time I interact with medical professionals I consider it an opportunity to represent not just myself, but every doula everywhere. OB's are busy people. They may not remember me personally, but I hope they will remember that respectful doula who acted with sincerity and compassion without being combative.

I am more peacenik than weathermen.

Now of course the sad reality is that there are many people floating around out there that don't see the value in the things I value most. All but one of the Portland-area hospitals sends moms home with free* formula samples. There are many doctors out there that are doing elective cesarean section, even if it goes against WHO and many other guidelines. But every time we are our there in the world, nursing our babies, talking about normal birth, we make one step forward.
We need not dream, we need do.

*Free, meaning without monetary cost, not without consequence.

1 comment:

honeykbee said...

fear not! Even I, the self proclaimed queen of freebies, wouldn't use something just because a hospital gave it to me. Unless, of course, it had hello kitty on it or some other pervasive and trustworthy celebrity.