Thank you, everyone, for your comments about the physician that has been present and lurking ready to pounce on everyone and everything about the "natural childbirth movement." There have been multiple suggestions that we bring this person to our Gentle Birth World Congress, but I am not interested in creating that kind of energy. We are, after all, discussing how and why to make birth a more gentle experience for both mother and baby. I really don't think our esteemed guest speakers, most of whom are physicians, want someone defaming them.
I am excited this year to be attending the American College of Obstetricians conference in San Diego, where I will be discussing waterbirth with doctors who actually see the benefits to baby and mother.
I attended last year and felt that our presence had a very big impact on physicians, especially medical students. Out of the 1000+ booths in the exhibit hall, we were one of the very few that were actually discussing birth and birth outcomes...AND we were the ONLY booth showing films of birth. There were doctors that teared up watching waterbirth videos. I signed up for this year's show before the end of last years.
One of the most surprising revelations were the results of an impromptu survey that I took at the booth. One out of three physicians was leaving OB practice for one reason or another - the most prominent reason being huge increases in malpractice premiums. What obstetricians were saying was, "it is just too difficult to rationalize the long hours, low reimbursement - especially medicaid - with such high malpractice insurance premiums." The quote that I heard most was, "I really enjoy sleeping at night."
The sleep that obstetricians are enjoying is from no threats of malpractice as well as being off call.
I was glad I went to ACOG last year - a bit intimidated at all the drug money that puts on this show. Some companies spend as much as $250,000 just for the space rental, not to mention the cost of their display and personnel to run it. I have been exhibiting at birth conferences for twenty years and it all pales in comparison to the vast fortunes that run the show at ACOG and other hospital association shows.
If you are in San Diego the first week of May, come to the Convention Center and look for our little 10X10 booth promoting the Gentle Birth World Congress and showing waterbirth films.