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Hospital Policies - I just don't get it



Some hospital policies make sense and others just blow my mind.  A local hospital restricts moms to ice chips in labor when being induced, but mom can get IV narcotics whenever she wants.  She can even get IV narcotics when she is pushing because they "have something for the baby" if baby is born quickly and has respiratory issues.

Does this make sense?  Is the risk of drinking water in labor really greater than IV narcotics?  What is going on here?  I find these kind of policies really hard to wrap my brain around.  IV Narcotics are often presented to moms as "something to take the edge off".  How about a sip of water?  That might take the edge off as well.  Or a shower?  I was practically begging a nurse to let my client into a shower in labor recently with no luck.  This same nurse was quick to offer Fentanyl.  How is Fentanyl safer than a shower?

Doulas, don't these types of policies confuse you?  I know I'm not the only one to feel this way.


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  • Alice Turner
Comments 5
  • Connie

    I think, in simple terms, it comes down to ignorance and covering their butt, so to speak.

  • Chelsea

    I feel so lucky to live in an area where birthing mom’s are given the options to choose what’s best for them in almost every situation. In most births at our local hospital moms can eat what they want, drink, what they want, take showers, baths, and even bring in birth tubs!

  • Bekah

    Yes, it is so backwards. Right up there with the “mandatory” separation of mom and baby for “observation”. I don’t ask nurses/doctors for things unless they have been clearly supportive of my client’s wishes. Instead, I inform my clients that they have the right to do things, and when they do them, dr’s and nurses will either be supportive or not, and if not, then my client can ask for a different dr./nurse. It really is a shame that it has to be that way for anyone!

  • Charlotte Sanchez, Midwife
    Charlotte Sanchez, Midwife

    Think about how things have changed over the years with birth. Most policies are set to prevent the what if’s. The truth is in evidence based practice. More women today are choosing to take back their birth experience. Think about the fact that 95 percent of undisturbed births have not one single complication, and of the 5 percent most are handled simply. It may be time to question the simple acts of intervention that lead to the soaring cesarean rate that each mother faces when entering a hospital to birth! Intervention has many faces, such as prohibiting a mother to drink water, and move off the bed during labor!

  • Rebekah

    So confusing! Also, why is it even necessary to get the nurse’s permission to shower during labor? Is it a matter of picking your battles?

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