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Hospital Rejects Birth Plans

aspen_womens_center_provo_utahWant to have a doula or labor coach to assist at your birth? Interested in drafting a birth plan with your partner? Don’t have your baby at the Aspen Women’s Center in Provo, UT.

The center has posted a sign in their entryway that reads:

Because the Physicians at Aspen Women’s Center care about the quality of their patient’s deliveries and are very concerned about the welfare and health of your unborn child, we will not participate in a “Birth Contract”, a Doulah Assisted, or a Bradley Method delivery. For those patients who are interested in such methods, please notify the nurse so we may arrange transfer of your care.

Let’s try that again, shall we: You, the woman who is about to go through one of the most challenging, painful experiences of her life, had better not have any opinions about how you would like to be cared for during that ordeal. It’s imperative that you keep your personal support network out of the way too. We absolutely can’t have anyone in the room who might advocate on your behalf.

They sound like a cult, cutting women off from their loved ones, their professional support and their own intention and intuition. Sadly, they also sound like too much of mainstream medicine.

On the one hand, the honesty is refreshing. I’d have preferred a sign like this above the front desk to the runaround I got trying to have my baby at the so-called “birth center” nearby. A birth center that transfers over 50% of its patients to the attached hospital. As Naomi Wolf reveals in Misconceptions, many hospital-based birth centers are cozy fronts for labor and delivery departments. They’re used as marketing tools, not spaces for women to actually give birth to real babies.

At least the folks at Aspen tell it like it is: they don’t respect you, your own concern for your baby’s health, or your wishes about how you’ll be treated while you’re in labor. If  you want that kind of risky care – the kind of risky care that reliably gets better outcomes for baby and mother – go elsewhere.

You know what to do, ladies of Provo, UT. The writing is on the wall: Notify the nurse so they may arrange for transfer of your care.

Photo source: Amy Gates, BlogHer

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