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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    933

    Question Rights during labor and delivery?

    Hoping not to ruffle feathers here, just legitimately seeking guidance. We are very interested in a natural birth. After reading a few books and watching some (horrifying) documentaries, I think that is definitely the route we will attempt to take. I plan on speaking with my OBGYN about it at our next appointment. (I am in the US, BTW.)

    What are a woman's legal rights during L&D? Here are a few specific questions:
    -Do I have the right to labor and deliver in whatever position I choose? Can the doctor/staff force me onto my back?
    -Can I continue to eat/drink during labor, even if they tell me not to?
    -Can I refuse an IV?

    Ok, I don't want to be that annoying patient that thinks she knows everything and is uncooperative! But I also don't want to be bullied and intimidated during a time of extreme stress. I want to go into my experience informed and knowledgable.

    If anyone has any helpful advice, I would love to hear it. Do you know what a woman's rights are? (I did stumble on a "Rights of Childbearing Women" brochure online, but I have no idea how legit/accurate it is.) What have your experiences been?
    One Beloved Son - Raphael David
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  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,846
    My comments probably won't be too helpful because I'm not a lawyer and I've never had a baby! But, I'd imagine, doctors and midwives couldn't force you to do anything you don't want to do. However, certain rules must be enforced during labour for the protection of yourself and your baby. For example, I'm sure you should be allowed to labour in whatever position you're most comfortable. However, eating and drinking during labour is discouraged (or disallowed) because of the possible need for emergency C-section (even if you don't want one, you may need one). You could refuse an IV, but, again, you may need one. If you want a natural birth, I think that's fantastic. BUT you need to be aware that sometimes things go wrong and you may require intervention. I'd be very clear when speaking to your OBGYN at your next appointment, but, particularly as this is your first child, you can't anticipate what your labour will be like and you may need to be open-minded regarding interventions such as Pitocin (to induce labour) and forceps or ventouse assisted delivery. You might not want them, but they might be necessary.
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  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    4,522
    You have the right to refuse any treatment offered to you. As to having things done your preferred way, you should probably discuss that with caregivers in advance so they can be prepared to meet your needs.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    6
    The book Natural Hospital Birth by Gabriel is fabulous. You need to find out your specific Dr and hospital policies. Some things you can control, some things not. And, hire a doula. Someone to advocate for you.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    160
    There might be a birthing center near you that has midwives but has a doctor always available for emergencies, if that might appeal to you.

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