Getting mum’s consent to intervene

Well, I’ve just got back from a birth. It was a happy ending birth – seeing mum so in love, so quickly, was lovely. Dad was so elated too. And what a calm baby! It was, however, my closest call in terms of avoiding intervention. The consultant was there with her ventouse cap, and her injection, waving it about. In my naivity, I was rather shocked at her enthusiasm to get in there regardless. She didn’t seem to notice that dad was distraught at the idea of a ventouse (which is when they help baby out with a small suction cap on his head). She didn’t seem to notice that mum was too exhausted or despondent to decline (or, arguably, to accept). I’ve noticed in my short journey through doulahood that if mum accepts intervention, with just so littel as a nod, my ability to advocate is gone. I am not there to persuade her (heaven forbid) so if she says “okay” I can only support that, even if I feel, deep down, that it is uneccessary, or that mum isn’t really thinking it through (of course she isnt’ – she’s in labour! She wants it to end! She’s tired!).
However, in this case, the fabulous student midwife noticed some sign of “progress”. This geed mum up a little, giving her the motivation to say that she wanted to try again without intervention. That was all I needed to hear, and I backed her up. The midwives backed me up, with spectacular grace, by getting the consultant to leave and stand outside!
It was rather brilliant. And the end result is what mattered. Mum did it. On her own. And while we might wonder why it matters (“all that matters is a healthy baby”), the fact is, that it does matter. It matters that mum comes away with pride and a strong sense of achievement. I’m glad the doctor didn’t get the chance to take that away from her.

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