Doula Blog #4

Of all the places I’ve had the opportunity to grow this summer, the labor and delivery floor is where I think I’ve grown the most. I learned a lot about childbirth, culture, and healthcare in general. As an aspiring OB-GYN, it was important for me to gain that exposure, and to understand the wide spectrum of care. Although the care that I provided was strictly emotional and physical, I was still a valued member of the team that included nurses, doctors, anesthesiologists, etc. I admired them greatly, because they all worked coherently and cohesively to ensure the safety of mom and baby while trying their best to follow mom’s birth plan. I’ve seen Ob-Gyn’s wait until the very last minute, after pushing for a little over an hour, to request a C-section because the baby was in distress. I’ve seen doctors wait an hour to vaginally examine a patient who did not want an exam until her mother had arrived. I’ve seen nurses work with moms birthing naturally to limit the amount of fetal monitoring to only what was necessary, per mom’s request. The Labor and Delivery floor that I worked on was great at listening to their birthing patients and making sure that they had the autonomy that they often sought out. It has been a privilege to witness some of the issues of reproductive justice in healthcare being addressed and disassembled in a public hospital, something that I aspire to do when I become an OB-GYN. It is something that I worry about constantly, because of the medicalization of childbirth in the United States. I have hope that childbirth will return to its universally healthy and empowering state in the coming years, and I am now more confident than ever in my role to assist that process.

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