The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
To complain about incompetent medical treatment, send a REGISTERED letter to:
If people are looking for a way to respond to this kind of extreme situation,
a way to prevent the same kind of things from happening again, it's worth
calling the hospital and asking who leads the Medical Ethics committee
there. Talking in private with her or him, telling the story and expressing
your concern might be really useful. When you do this, you can ask the
Medical Ethics committee leader if he would promise not to say where he
got the info. before you'll tell him what it is. That way you don't become
a focus of attention or a scapegoat for anyone who’s feeling defensive.
He can bring these issues up in the committee and they will probably get
discussed very seriously. The hospital may come up with protocols to prevent
similar treatment. (Although I can't believe they don't already have them.)
For example, they may decide that vacuum extractors may only be used when
the baby is below a certain station in the mother's pelvis, or that if
a patient says she's not numb enough, you do thus-and-so to make sure she's
got adequate anesthesia. If they already have protocols about these things,
they can make sure everyone is aware of them and that not following them
is unacceptable. Using this approach, the doula gets her concerns addressed
by someone who has the power to do something about them. By remaining anonymous,
the doula avoids polarizing the situation, and avoids drawing unpleasant
attention toward herself. I've only used this approach once, about 10 years
ago. I gave the committee leader info showing that it might be unethical
for a hospital not to allow VBAC, and they started letting people VBAC
soon after that. (Before that, their one doctor who did VBAC did all his
VBACs at another hospital.) I seemed to work well to approach the committee
leader with the attitude of "I'm worried about this, and I thought you
might be interested.", rather than "This is horrible! These guys are inhumane!".
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