Week 37: informed consent

Informed consent.

I had the GBS screen but didn’t have the results yet (later came back negative), and I asked my midwife what her recommended protocol was if it should come back positive.

She said this: “I don’t have a protocol. I will tell you what the standard of care is here in the US, and I will tell you what I think the benefits and risks are to that approach. We can talk about alternatives, and I will tell you what I think the benefits and risks are to those alternatives, and we will talk about your preferences. Then, you can think about it and let me know your decision.”

What if every OB said that for all the things they recommend, induction, sizing ultrasounds, etc. It would be amazing.


About investigatingbirth

My investigations of birth began in 2009 when I was trained as a doula. I helped women consider the evidence on common interventions, and helped them prepare for the physical and emotional challenge of giving birth. After some time it became clear to me that there was another type of challenge that I was unable to adequately prepare them for, the challenge of the maternity system. But it was only after my own traumatic birth in 2013 that I realized how little I had understood. I began to ask questions that few around me - doulas, nurses, midwives, doctors - were comfortable hearing. Questions like: Under what circumstances, and for what reasons, do doctors not practice informed consent? How do hospitals deal with other patient populations vulnerable to abuse? How does loss of professional autonomy, for obstetricians, and professional authority, for midwives, impact the quality of care they are capable of providing - regardless of their training? This blog will collect noteworthy information that attempts to answer these and other questions. Most of what you see here will be aggregated from other sources and analyzed. You will also see original interviews, and the occasional opinion piece or personal story, as I try to piece together a clear picture of the system in which American women give birth.
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