There is a lot in the news about respect for women, or lack of. No matter what your political persuasion, the ‘office’ of Prime Minister should be respected. The media appears to be crucifying Julia Gillard – is it because she is a woman? one could debate this forever! Then we have the shocking revelations about the lack of respect for women in the armed services. Unfortunately, this lack of respect for women, certainly happens in the birthing world. I have observed over my many years in this business, the shocking, sexist, and disrespectful remarks, made about pregnant and birthing women, mainly by male obstetricians. These women, who have put their absolute trust in their caregiver, would be horrified to hear these ‘casual’ remarks and appalling references about women.
It is why many women gravitate to midwifery care, and choose a doula. They know that pregnancy and birthing is women’s business and feel comforted and reassured that a woman understands. Why is there so much disrespect from men to women, and yet, we don’t hear about the reverse, so much. It is a sad reflection on society when it permeates the birthing world. Doulas provide that respect and accountability in a birthing environment, making sure that everyone involved, respects, without question, the birthing woman and her wish to bring her baby into the world in a peaceful, loving and nurturing environment. Maybe Julia Gillard’s ‘minders’ should act as a doula advocate?