As some people may know, I started this website because I have had extreme difficulty in making midwives accountable for misconduct. No one died or was physically injured in my situation (which I am grateful for), but I found out that women whose children were dead or injured faced the same road blocks that I do. Keeping up the fight is hard for me, but infinitely harder for women who have lost their children to home birth charlatans. I feel a moral obligation to keep publicizing the quackery that is natural child birth theory.
For those who don’t know, I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by misconduct from midwives during my labor. I was assured, over and over again, that choosing a midwife meant they respected my autonomy as a human being. I was told over and over again that midwives respect women in a way that hospitals don’t. What ended up happening was forced examinations and inappropriate conduct during exams. These exams were excruciatingly painful, they would not stop when I begged for it to be over. I was denied food unless I complied with a sadistic midwife’s demands. I disclosed an abuse history at the start of treatment that made me sensitive to these issues specifically. I knew that what I needed to feel safe was to be in charge of who touches me and when, and that’s what they promised me. They didn’t deliver.
I had PTSD and a newborn. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I feel terrible for what I was unable to give to my child during their first year of life. I complained to the business, and they didn’t care.
I reached out to the midwifery community multiple times, and they marched in lock step with each other. It seems to be an unspoken rule that if you force women to do what you want them to during labor, you won’t face any scrutiny from other midwives. They euphamistically call it “making their own practice standards”, or “midwife autonomy”. It means doing whatever you think is best, even if your education is limited and you have no insurance to cover the damages if you end up being totally wrong. The right for midwives to practice as they please consistently trumps patients rights to dignity and safety in the natural child birth movement.
I reached out again to a midwife recently, this time to a CNM named Caron Jones. I told her the events of my labor and asked for her help. I wanted to know if she thought if what I went through was standard midwifery care or not. I expected someone like her (who claims to be an expert in these matters) would be aware of basic literature about the subject and would agree that this was not appropriate treatment of a patient. At a minimum it would be considered unethical to promise one thing and deliver something else, right?
Instead, she blamed me.
I shouldn’t have been shocked, but I was. I have a bit more faith in CNMs, although some of them are as dangerous and deluded as direct entry midwives.
Caron Jones said that I couldn’t be “in charge” of my own labor because “only nature is in charge”. I don’t know how this explanation could excuse the willful behavior of another person. Could I punch someone and go “aggression is natural!”? Of course not. Caron Jones told me that I was “setting [myself] up for failure” by having an abuse history and wanting to be able to choose who was going to examine me and when, as if informed consent and refusal are luxuries that no woman should expect to be afforded. Caron Jones claimed knowledge she could not possibly have (like saying that I must have been too tense and therefore caused all the problems with the exams). I got the sense I was witnessing a midwife trying to justify this kind of behavior to herself.
In short, Caron Jones is the opposite of a professional.
The “midwifery model of care” is a joke. If it weren’t there would be midwives lining up to say that this is NOT the way midwives conduct themselves, but instead there is midwife after midwife willing to excuse what happened to me (and to loss mothers, for that matter). Midwives do not do anything to actually ensure patients get the model of care they are sold when they choose home birth. When you point out dangerous practices, midwives clamor to tell you its not ALL midwives. Their lack of initiative in ensuring every midwife is either competent to practice, or accountable for her actions, is very telling. Reputable professions care about cleaning house, about making sure that individuals with abhorrent practices are not able to give themselves the prestige of the title. Midwives even fail to define the terms they use constantly, like “low risk pregnancy”. When something goes wrong they can simply claim the patient wasn’t low risk.
I don’t have to do much work to discredit midwives. Their own actions and words do it for them.