At least, not according to the OB-GYNs at Aspen Women’s Center at Provo, Utah:
This picture seems to be making the rounds of the crunchyboardz, with lots of tut-tutting about the snotty, woman-intimidating OB-GYNs with God complexes.
I have nothing against doulas in general (though I saw no reason to use one myself. I find certain specific doulas insufferable, however). I also studied the Bradley method in preparation for my first birth (somehow missing the woo-ier aspects of Bradley philosophy like endorsing the Brewer diet for preeclampsia). And I’m not entirely sure what a “birth contract” means- an overly rigid birth plan with the implicit threat of legal repercussions if the OB swerves from the script, perhaps?
But when I first saw the picture, I suspected the doctors put up the sign as a result of bad experiences with former clients who’d been brainwashed by local doulas and Bradley instructors into believing that OBs are the one obstacle between a woman and her ‘perfect birth experience’.Hence OBs need to be shackled by contracts, and the information they provide should be suspect until corroborated by more ‘natural’ sources. Did one or more of those external ‘advisors’ perhaps endanger a client by giving bad advice? If I were in a private OB practice and had the opportunity to pre-select my patients, I’d also state my preference for those patients who were willing to trust that I wasn’t out to hurt or undermine them.
Another point I’ve seen in the mommyboard hysteria about this sign is that this must mean that ‘natural’ birth is nigh impossible at this practice. Because, yanno, it’s quite impossible to have an unmedicated, low-intervention birth without doulas, Bradley claptrap and ‘birth contracts’….pffft!
Ironically, the director of the Aspen Women’s Center, Dr. Thomas Judd, seems (at least from the little I can glean about him on the Internets) to be an old-school doctor who knows his way around forceps and vaginal breech births, though he’ll not hesitate to recommend a C-section when he feels it’s necessary. The sheeple…oops, excuse me, women who go to him seem, for the most part, very pleased with his manner and professional demeanor. In fact, here’s a comment from a local CNM who claims to know and admire Dr. Judd:
I am a CNM in the area, and I can tell you that He is the only MD who is willing to back us up so we can be midwives. So patients who want birth plans, doulas and bradley…he kindly refers to our Clinic. Dr. Judd has saved a few of my patients from C-sections with his brilliance in forceps, I normally wouldn’t advocate forceps but he is overly safe with them and knows when to use them and when not to.
When all’s said and done, I wish all OBs were as upfront about their preferences (and previous bad experiences with certain types!)…