My client at the moment is aiming to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). She has also developed Gestational Diabetes. The two things are not linked except in the fact that they both conspire to make her a "high risk" patient.
On Thursday she had an appointment with the diabetes educator, that is an expert in diabetes not birth, and the educator told her that at under five feet tall she would not be able to achieve a VBAC and should book in for a caesarean.
I have no desire to be a militant, doctor hating, suspicious, against-the-system kind of doula and I spend a lot of time reassuring mothers that nobody in the system is trying to do anything to upset them, just to be responsible and accountable but incidents like these make me into a liar. These situations where people step outside of their professional boundaries and say inappropriate things have the potential to derail a woman's confidence long before she has even a niggle of labour.
I wonder would a diabetes educator even dream of telling a man he was too small, too fat or too thin to have normal sexual function? Or would they stick to the task of diabetes education?
The timing of this pronouncement, on International Women's day, subtly underlines how far we have yet to go in the quest for equality and I am proud that one by one, I help womyn to find their subversive voices.