Standing Up for Birth Plans

So a few weeks ago, the Cleveland Plain Dealer ran an article about birth plans. The basic tone of the piece was that they are unnecessary, even inhibiting a doctor’s ability to offer quality obstetric care.

So I wrote me a letter. And it was published in the Opinion section of today’s Plain Dealer.

Health-care providers should respect birth plans
Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I read with interest the March 24 article “Having birth plan is no guarantee.”

As a woman who has had three children with the assistance of my nurse-midwife, I found that having a birth plan enabled me to clarify my expectations and communicate well with my midwife.

I educated myself on all of my birth options and drafted a one-page plan. My midwife understood our desire to have intervention-free, unmedicated Bradley births, and worked with us to achieve our goals.

As patients, we bear half of the responsibility for communicating effectively with our medical providers. Physicians like Dr. Sarah Pasqualone (who does not “allow” her patients to have birth plans) disregard an important communication tool. It fosters the attitude that pregnant women can’t be trusted to formulate intelligent decisions about our care.

I would never choose a health-care professional not interested in my opinions about my own care.

Woot! I’m going to copy it and send it to my midwife.

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