This is from "Stirrups and Stories", an amazing attempt for patients to reclaim the OB/GYN experience. Looking through the site I am very much reminded of what brought me to medical school in the first place and why I want to be an OB/GYN. I want to empower women to reclaim their own bodies.
It reminds me of my college thesis. I spent a year examining elements of power and agency in pregnancy that lead to a woman being educated about her pregnancy and birth options. Using anthropology and photography, I created a multi-dimensional ethnography with a corresponding photography gallery exhibit. I was blessed to spend my year engaging with women who opened up to me, sharing their stories, families, homes and images of their bodies with me.
On a similar note, here is a pretty awesome article on home birth. The article illuminates the reason that I choose medical school over nurse midwifery: the desire to advocate for reversing the over-medicalization of births from the top. Additionally, I want to empower ALL women to embrace their health and trust their bodies, instead of just working with women who choose midwifery care. I strongly agree with a lot of what the article is saying, especially the following paragraph: "In anthropology, we say that "normal is simply what you are used to." The power of socialization and the dominance of biomedicine have kept us from systematically examining a variety of birthing environments and providers as viable alternatives to the expensive and interventive hospital delivery that has become the norm in the U.S."
Here is to hoping that we can start listening to women's voices and remembering that birth happened long before western medicine came along; and that I don't forget my background as an anthropologist and a labor doula as I progress through my medical training.