Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What's My Hidden Agenda?

In the months before the March 2009 Controversies in Childbirth Conference, I would get some interesting phone calls such as:

A midwife asking if this conference was a propaganda piece for ACOG, and if we will only hear about the poor underpaid obstetrician!
An obstetrician asking if this was one of those natural birth conferences telling us how great midwives are!
A hospital administrator asking if this conference is about preaching homebirth!
A homebirth advocate asking if this conference is to show that homebirth is dangerous!

Even after the conference, when every attendee went home to their communities and raved about learning different viewpoints, and having a fair and frank exchange of ideas, people still could not believe it was nuetral. There must have been an agenda!!

Do I pretend not to have any biases? OF COURSE NOT!! However, if you want a conference where everyone in front of the room will agree with you, you can probably find one every weekend somewhere in the US or North America. However, if you want to learn the issues that the other side faces, so you can become more effective at communicating with your patient/client or advocating for your cause, then the Controversies in Childbirth Conference will give you that..

A number of years ago, I had a conversation with midwifery icon: Ina May Gaskin, who I consider a friend. I said: " Ina May, you have been fighting this battle for 30 years, and by every indicator, be it cesarean section rate, infant mortality, or midwifery access, you are losing." To which she responded, "You're right, we are losing, but we don't know what else to do."

So here is my agenda: To get people that are involved in the birth care process to communicate with other people involved in the birth care process, even if, they vehemently disagree with each other's means and methods. It is my belief that only with, "abortion" (which we do not discuss) can middle ground NOT be found., because the subject is so deeply rooted in people's religious and moral convictions In the arena of birth. I believe it is proven over and over that middle ground is findable and is the preferred way of getting things accomplished.
There's a simple rule of battle that President Bush learned, and Pres. Obama is experiencing. When you are losing: retreat, surrender, or change your battle plan. You do not keep doing the same thing over and over and continue to lose.

How many of you have been fighting this battle for 30 years? Please tell me how many WINS, you can claim credit for. Have you reduced the cesarean section rate? Have you decreased the infant mortality rate? Have you decreased the maternal mortality rate? Have you decreased the number of babies admitted to NICU? Have you decreased the number of women choosing epidurals?

If you have answered “NO” to the questions above, then it's time for you to change your battle plan.

Last Friday, I proposed a different type of physician owned facility. This is now causing discussions in the physician world. This proposal is a game changer to physician’s because it is asking them to change their battle plan, since they also believe that they are losing. They're not happy with the hours they work, the conditions in the hospital, the lack of time they have for each patient and the lack of money they receive for their time as well as a training and expertise.

Changing your battle plan, sounds crazy doesn't it? On the other hand, what do you call repeating the same action over and over and expecting a different result?


Tomorrow- Another birth center announces it’s closing!

1 comment:

  1. You are awesome! I will probably be out of the country for your conference, but I would like to be a part of it somehow anyway. Please take a moment to check out my new book website and read the "Sneak Peek" section of the "About the Book" button. We can definitely help this important cause with our synergy as we have the same mission in mind. Much Luck to you!

    Granny Pants