Thinking Critically

18 Nov

As an aspiring-doula, I know I’m lumped together with the “crunchy granola” approach to pregnancy, birth and parenting.  This doesn’t necessarily have to be true.  I can be a woman’s advocate and believe in holistic, alternative measures for pain-relief without blindly accepting what I learn in ONE weekend of training or ONE book.  If I want to serve other women, I have to check my bias at the door, I have to be familiar with the science and biology behind the processes, I should understand the studies done on different treatments, different circumstances.  I want to be an open vessel that will be open to accepting different belief systems and different viewpoints.  I want to be a river that can change course and adapt to different circumstances that arrive..  I want to be a marble column for the women I work with and their families to lean on.

Okay, I’m getting a  little fluffy.  But what I said is true – for me at least.  This is why I want to study Sociology with a focus on service and continue to volunteer until a time when I can take on doula-ing as my full-time profession.

The reason I’m even bringing this up is because I read a lot of blogs these days related to pregnancy and childbirth.  Some are more emotionally focused, some are more about the alternatives to the medical-model, some focus on studies that support the work a doula does,  and ONE is by an ob/gyn who is VERY critical of natural childbirth – particularly unassisted – and other “crunchy” approaches and viewpoints.

Her blog is The Skeptical OB (http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/).  Her name is Amy Tuteur, she’s apparently a practicing OB and she published a book in the early 90s on pregnancy and childbirth – it is NOT on my list of books to read.  I don’t like her.  I hate that she’s often demeaning of women who choose not to turn to analgesics in labor and of doulas.  I hate that she attacks the people behind certain movements before she will argue why she believes they are wrong.  But  it’s important to me to see the other side of the issue.  Even if she makes me angry.  When the blogger is being particularly ugly in my eyes, I just remind myself that there are doctors who feel the way she does and I will have to be ready to deal with them… Or I just click the little red x in the right hand corner (why yes, I’m a PC) and I think on the subject myself.  Unfortunately there aren’t any other NCB-critial blogs that I can find that update regularly.

So before I leave you today, here’s another blog that encourages others to be critical of what they hear/read about childbirth:  Lamaze International’s Science & Sensibility (http://www.scienceandsensibility.org/).  In the last 7 days they have published blog articles on understanding meta-analyses and on how root-cause analyses help some hospitals understand what led to maternal deaths.  Their new community manager, Kimmelin Hull, is a Physician Assistant and Lamaze-certified Childbirth Educator.  The blog’s goal is “to provide professional, evidence-based articles and discussion about topics relating to pregnancy, birth and early parenting.”  Lamaze International has an agenda, just like any other blog, but I don’t see the ad hominem attacks like I read in some blogs, just research-supported blogging.  I like it!

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