They can't do that. Yet somehow they are. In what universe is it smarter to force women into unnecessary surgeries, or to subject themselves to the stress and hardship of birthing in strange places far from their families. Because those are totally feasible options, given the convenience of TRAVELLING CROSS-COUNTRY whilst HEAVILY PREGNANT-
I was even more enraged by the explanations offered by the relevant CQ hospital directors, in a subsequent meeting addressing this issue. Several representatives from the Maternity Coalition Australia were also in attendance.
I was rather disappointed with the apparent lack of outrage on the MCA's part. Their conclusion that this was a productive or positive meeting is way off, in my opinion. I find this whole thing very disturbing.
BUT- There was one part I liked. Apparently feedback from the consumer is invited.
[WARNING- You may find my tone and language confronting, but I don't think polite indignation is cutting it anymore.]
What's up with the whole lack of care? You're CARE PROVIDERS!
"We have been assured that this is just temporary."
For you, yes. What about the women who will be forced to endure a surgery they could have avoided? The risks they're forced to take on because YOU decided what was best for her. That's permanent. Her birth will be stolen.
It's ok to not want it to look like this.
Yes yes. I get that some births become necessary c-sections without warning. Been there, done that. Got the t-shirt.
"HSS is not cutting VBAC service at Gladstone, but have had to make the tough decision to send women to another facility who has the capability for resuscitation & adequate staffing should they need it. Although Gladstone has the accreditation as a level 2 hospital, it does not currently have the staff capacity to deal with adverse events so they are minimizing their risk exposure by sending higher risk (VBAC) women to another facility for now."
"It's about doing what they can as a HHS to keep mothers & babies safe."
Really? I thought it was more about maintaining power and control over women's birth choices.
"If women present to Gladstone hospital in labour, they will be assessed in labour as to whether they are transferred to Rockhampton. Not all women will be able to transfer depending on progress. This is procedure for all women anyway."
Oh, well then. If it's procedure for ALL women, it must be infallible. It's not like anyone might wind up birthing on the side of the road in a tiny ambulance or anything. That doesn't sound appealing. How many women will just do as they're told out of fear of facing this as a punishment for their defiance of your policy?.
Sounds like a recipe for a shitstorm to me.
"The event that led to the suspension of the VBAC service was unforseen and there was no warning or ability to prevent this service from being suspended."
What event was this? You've completely sidestepped the issue that set the precedent for such a huge decision to be made. We deserve to know why this is happening. (It's not happening, by the way. You don't get to have policies governing women's choices or bodies, for the record.)
"We have been reassured that this is not something that the Gladstone hospital wanted to do, but have been forced to do to ensure the safety of women and their babies."
What are you saying? That women and their babies aren't safe at this hospital? Just VBAC women? Right.. because they're such a risky and dangerous bunch. I should know!
When the trained professionals, who are paid to KNOW the risks and benefits of all the types of birth they're working with, are telling me that a move to completely remove the best and safest option for women is FOR OUR SAFETY- That's when I get really worried.
Sure, nobody is going to hold anyone down and perform a c-section against their will. But policies like this are designed to force compliance. Of course, we can go to another hospital. That's what you're telling us to do. Potentially travel hours away from our homes. Super convenient, like I said.
So how many women will just compromise, and do it your way? Great compromise.
VBAC is already hard enough to achieve under the current restrictions of standard care. I know because I tried. So what's with the stigma attached to VBAC anyway?
Here are the stats in black and white, before the anti natural birth community all lose their minds simultaneously.
I'm not the only one who finds these responses weak, in light of the seriousness of the issue. Policy is not law. What about the guidelines? Helloo?! Those who want to, and can VBAC will be denied. So how many of us are you willing to sacrifice to maintain your comfort zone?
One would be too many.
Our C-section rate is 3 times as high as it should be for a reason. Lame policies like this. Intervention becoming routine, and turning into interference. Or catastrophe. (I have one of those t-shirts, too.)
This is a violation of human rights. You cannot remove access to one of the best and safest birth choices for women who had a previous caesarean. (The gold standard of course, would be a homebirth.)
Why do you not have adequate staff? Midwives don't perform surgery. That's what Obstetricians and Anaesthesiologists are for. If you don't have enough OBs available for a VBAC turned emergency C-section, then how can you claim to be equipped to handle ANY emergency at all?
This is seriously disturbing. Where's the thought process here?
"We highlighted women have said there is no paper trail, or info being given in writing, only verbally from their midwives at antenatal appointments. Nicky Murdoch was confused at this, she quoted, 'there is a pamphlet we've done up & the women should be receiving them.' She will now look into why women have not received them and also send a copy of flyer to us for further distribution to women."
Ok, relax everybody. They've got this situation under control, obviously. They have pamphlets!
Nobody cares about your pamphlets. Seriously!
We don't want glossy paper explaining all the ways we're going to have to 'compromise' to fit YOUR idea of safe. I don't need to have a university education to know that the stats are contrary to your recommendations.
One size fits all approaches DO NOT WORK.
And the fact that this policy is delivered masquerading as concern for our safety makes me want to vomit.
In closing, don't feed us shit and call it chocolate.