Monday, March 24, 2014

Failure to Progress and the Association with Sphincter Law

I've written a few posts on this topic over the years (The "F" Word, The Needs of a Laboring Woman Are More Easily Achieved at Home, and Welcome to the Olive Garden to name a few) but this week I received this video from Rachel Connolly Kwock, doula and filmmaker, and I just had to share it here with y'all. Check out Rachel's YouTube channel where she'll be adding more.

There are many reasons for Failure to Progress being the #1 reason for a woman having a primary c-section in the United States. "Sphincter law" is at the top of this list. Ina May Gaskin, as you know, is who coined the phrase "sphincter law" and talks about our sphincters being shy around "male surgeons". Ain't that the truth?

But, sometimes, just feeling watched in general -- even by people that have your best interests in mind -- can make it difficult to really let go and open up. Just some food for thought next time you are trying to dilate (or poop) while being watched.

Taken when TCBN hosted Ina May in July '12.


Allison said...

Hah! love this. When I was in the hospital, in labor and fighting with staff about my natural vbac plans, labor shut down. The minute my doula sent me for some private time in the dark bathroom to relieve myself, I had several big contractions. (She had been sneaking me sips of water while the nurses where coming in and out and ranting).

Dark private cave--labor friendly. Well lit room full of strangers observing you, or worse, TALKING to you--labor's arch enemy.

Amanda Zeller Manley said...

People understand this about the bathroom; how can they not understand this about birthing a baby?