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    Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to Goersitemail@aol.com.

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    Jun 08
    2008

    right to push in any position I want

    Archived User

    Hello Henci,

    I just read the legal rights I have as a birthing mother and I wanted to make sure it applies in my situation. 

    I read that I have the right to deliver the baby in any position I want but when I went to the birthing class at the hospital I plan on delivering (my insurance won't cover using a birthing center), they informed us that even if we have not had any medication that we have to deliver on our backs (hospital policy), which did not make me happy, but unfortunately, I don't have much of a choice at this time.  I am 32 weeks pregnant.

    But, if legally, they cannot make me deliver on my back, how are they able to tell us that hospital policy mandates that we deliver in that position? 

    Please clear this up for me.

    Thanks so much!!

     

     

    Henci Goer

    The first thing that came to mind when I read your post is: if hospital policy mandates that all women push and give birth on their backs, which is indisputably ineffective and harmful, what other ineffective and harmful policies and practices might this hospital be imposing? Routine IVs? No oral intake? Routine continuous electronic fetal monitoring (cardiotocography)? Confining laboring women to bed? Be that as it may, I suggest you talk to your care provider. Begin by getting clarification that you have, in fact, understood correctly that hospital policy is to have women push and give birth lying on their backs. Then, whether you understood correctly or not, ask your care provider to sign a note saying that unless necessary to treat a medical complication, your care provider affirms that you may push in any position you find effective. Alternatively, have you considered home birth? It is your least expensive option if you have to pay out of pocket, and having your baby in an environment with suboptimal practices and policies may end up costing you and your baby more than you ever want to pay. Thirty-two weeks is not too late to switch.

    -- Henci

    P.S. Just out of curiosity, where is this hospital?

    Archived User
    I think too that inasmuch as it is every woman's right to push in any position she chooses to, a hospital can have the policies it chooses to and can deny care if these are not followed. So both can exist next to each other unfortunately.

    I would find out what all the policies are in that hospital. Not something you want to find out during labor.

    I am sorry you are in this situation. Of course, I second Henci's homebirth suggestion

    maria.
    Henci Goer

    I don't disagree, but arguments and staff disapproval are not good for laboring women even if they prevail, and, sorry to say, it is all too easy for staff to punish women who have made themselves "difficult patients" by challenging the status quo.

    -- Henci

    Archived User
    Oh, absolutely. Bullying laboring women is prevalent in hospitals I am sure.
    maria.
    Archived User
    Posted By n/a on 06/26/2008 11:43 PM
    I think too that inasmuch as it is every woman's right to push in any position she chooses to, a hospital can have the policies it chooses to and can deny care if these are not followed. So both can exist next to each other unfortunately.



    Legally, under EMTALA, if a woman is in active labor and she approaches a hospital within a certain distance (150 yeard?), the hospital can no longer deny care regardless of what policies the woman does not wish to abide by.

    Of course this is of no comfort to the woman who is physically forced to submit to hospital "policy" (which is more often just "practice" with no written policy to demand it) when she tries to get some sort of redress after the birth, and no lawyer will touch her case, and the police don't accept that the woman has been legally assaulted.


    All Times America/New_York

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