I am one annoyed doula tonight. H1N1 continues to plague our practices. Yves Bolduc, Quebec’s Health Minister, said that he felt making a birthing woman choose between her husband or her doula in Montreal hospitals was, in short, paranoid. So despite the fact that I subjected myself to a vaccination I am not particularly comfortable with in order to be as responsible as I can be to my more vulnerable clients, St. Luc hospital is STILL clinging to this rule. My poor clients are distraught. They were told that St. Luc’s is a higher risk hospital for the flu, though I’m not sure if I understand why, given St. Justine, which DOES allow doulas and husbands in the birthing room, is a hospital strong in pediatrics. The benefits of labour support outweigh the risk of becoming extremely ill from the flu, especially considering my clients and I are vaccinated. Why vaccinate at all if this is not even considered?

To continue on my rant, I just have to mention that an OB/GYN who attended my lovely client’s birth, WALKED OUT OF THE ROOM when she refused to get on her back, despite 4 people trying to physically force her into this position. He threatened her with abandonnment of care. Personally, I didn’t see the big deal about his not being there, as the baby was practically out anyway and there was a resident and a veritable herd of experienced nurses in the room. What made me sad was how scared the nurses seemed, as if they were going to get blamed for failing to control their patient. The birthing lady decided to go on her side, and I suppose someone went out to kiss the doctor’s butt so he’d come back in and catch the baby.

I have no problem with an accoucheur feeling uncomfortable and inexperienced with a particular birthing position. Most of the docs I know would be respectful and explain why they weren’t comfortable and comprimise with a position both doc and lady were okay with. But to stomp out of the room shrouded in a cloud of self righteous indignance to sulk in the hallway is extremely lame. Midwives are down with all kinds of positions, as are some OBs and many family docs, and know how to protect the perineum in just about all of them. Perhaps some skills sharing for the resistant is in order so that women’s choices are better supported.