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Forum: Natural Childbirth

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  #1  
November 24th, 2008, 08:07 AM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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So last week we had Tishauna have her membranes stripped by her midwife without her knowledge. I posted about this on my doula training e-mail list. The conversation there turned to suggesting that allowing a vaginal exam at all at the end of your pregnancy in basically consenting to anything your care provider wants to do while there and there is no requirement to let the patient know each thing they chose to do. What do you all think of that? I think it's a pretty important thought to consider.

If vaginal exams are looked at as not really necessary (which many people do) then it would be concluded that they are just one more way that care providers are trying to seem useful by "doing something" instead of just letting things be. If there is no problem, then a vaginal exam is not needed. Many people want to see if they are effaced or dilated at all, which actually doesn't mean much anyway.

I am in no way saying that Tishauna is responsible, I am just trying to start a conversation. These things happen all the time and it's a reminder that although we may think that we have communicated to our care provider that we don't want interventions, we really need to make sure at every step.

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  #2  
November 24th, 2008, 08:19 AM
Kelllilee's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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saying that allowing vaginal exams gives health care providers to do whatever they want while in there without letting the patient know is like saying asking a guy into your house gives him the right to rape you.

extreme example, but that's my opinion on the matter.

I think the frequency of exams towards the end of pregnancy is excessive. Unless you have cause for concern about an early delivery, does it really matter? Some will start exams at 35 weeks or earlier, it's just so invasive!


when I was pg with my first my midwife did a pelvic exam when I was a little over 40 weeks and "agitated" things. She didn't exactly strip my membranes, but it was still done without consent. It didn't bother me at the time cause I didn't know any better. Now I dont' like that she did that.
with my second I learned to check myself and had an exam a couple days before labor began because I thought my water had broken. I was pretty sure how dilated I was but it was nice to have the confirmation that I was correct (next time i'll trust myself more). Different midwife this time and she didn't do anything "extra"
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  #3  
November 24th, 2008, 09:00 AM
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That doesnt sound right to me. I feel like doing a vaginal exam means just that. It doesnt mean go ahead and do what you feel like while you are up there. That is good to know though in case I ever do see a OB in my life again which is likely never. But anywhoo I agree on the vaginal exams. I didnt have one until my due date and that was just because I wanted to know if I was dialated or effaced. However when I found out I wasnt and literally sat there and cried Im definately NOT going to get one at all next time until Im in labor.
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  #4  
November 24th, 2008, 04:46 PM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I politely disagree. consenting to a VE means that you've consented to a VE. You have not given freedom for that doctor to do anything he or she wants to you- after all it is your vagina!!!!

I feel that it is battery- plain and simple- for a doctor to assume consent, or in Tishauna's place do something she KNEW her client was against.

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  #5  
November 24th, 2008, 05:08 PM
LadyLuck's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Consenting to a vaginal exams means just that, you are consenting to an EXAM!! It doesn't mean that anything the dr wants to do is up for free grabs, especially w/o discussing it w/ you first.
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  #6  
November 25th, 2008, 06:51 AM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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I tend to agree with you ladies. I guess what they were saying is while it's terrible that it happens, that it DOES happen and the best thing is "to keep your knickers on"

but the best point is I guess, is to always remember to be looking out for yourself. It's not an uplifting thought, that's for sure.
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  #7  
November 25th, 2008, 07:18 AM
Husher's Avatar B & E complete me.
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With my son I remember asking to be checked at 36 weeks because I felt that something had been happening but I really wish I hadn't. I was already dilated about 2 cm and 70% effaced so I was convinced that I would be delivering soon and it was so disappointing when my EDD came and went. I completely agree that we have to look out for ourselves and that is so sad. Our doctors should never be performing any procedure without our prior approval. It's infuriating really.
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  #8  
November 25th, 2008, 09:19 PM
oriel13's Avatar Tishauna
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I agree, a VE is supposed to be a VE - not a free for all! Women shouldn't have to worry about their OB or midwife doing whatever they want just because the pants are off. Informed consent should apply to any and all procedures and a VE is not a blank check.

On another note I let her know at my appointment today that I do not want to be stripped again. I really didn't want to get into a battle of semantics with the delivery coming up so I left it at that. I did allow her to check me afterward (and for the last time until labor starts), I was curious to see if I'd made progress this week after going through that. No surprise...I hadn't progressed at all. I think she got the point when I commented on it too, even though she keeps going on about how it will be any day now. So for me the stripping was a proven waste of pain and time and I will never allow it to be done again in the future. If it works for others great, but for a first time mom at 37 weeks that was just stupid.
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  #9  
November 25th, 2008, 10:01 PM
littlebabydolly
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Slightly OT but has anyone seen the movie "Teeth"? It's a silly horror cult movie but the main character consents to a gyno exam but has never had one before. Because she was naive about the process, the doctor gets down to doing naughty things that he wasn't suppose to be doing. Well, in the end her "teeth" bite his hand off!
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  #10  
November 26th, 2008, 05:56 AM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I was SO thinking about that movie durring this thread. That is too funny!
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  #11  
November 26th, 2008, 06:13 AM
niknok's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I think I'll consent to an exam at 36 weeks, since I'll already be undressed for a GBS test. And then, no more until 40 weeks. I just don't really see the point....unless one of my midwives gives me a really good justification, I'll refuse.
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  #12  
November 27th, 2008, 12:48 PM
PixieQueen's Avatar Hi-Tech Hippie
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After the first couple of months I didn't get any more VE until my GBS test, and then all she did was the GBS test. Granted, I went into labor at 37 1/2 wks, but from my previous appt, it sounded like she pretty said she wouldn't check me unless I went past 40 wks. I wouldn't want someone messing around down there without my knowledge of what they were doing! That's just creepy and wrong!
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  #13  
November 28th, 2008, 06:31 AM
thepinkleprechaun's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I had a CNM with my last pregnancy and she stripped my membranes without telling me. Now that I look back on it, it does bother me because I was only 36 weeks, what if my water had accidentally broken or something? Although it was nice when I had to be induced the very next week and I was already 2 cm, but I'm sure that wasn't because of the stripping.

I'm with Nikki, this time if they want to check me during the GBS swab thingie that's fine, but after that I'm not consenting to any vaginal exams. In my mind there's really no point, and I don't want to get my hopes up about when I'm going to deliver!
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  #14  
November 28th, 2008, 09:44 AM
MamaBx3
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Wow -- that shocks me!!!! That is brutal!

I think the OB should have to ask for permission to strip your membranes -- just because you are his/her patient does not mean he/she owns you.
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  #15  
November 28th, 2008, 10:06 AM
Alissa&Isabelle'sMommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Gosh, I think a VE should just mean VE. It seems like you have to been on top of things! They called me and they were trying to schedule me for a C section and I told them I didn't consent to that so you can put me down for one but I won't come in! I'll come in when I'm in labor, maybe
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