Advanced search be cross with this doctor's presence during the birth?

(240 Posts)
chickenchops Sat 17-Sep-11 21:22:43

Really not sure if i am or not.

I was induced and three hours later given an epidural by the on call anaesthetist. I didn't really like him. He was cross I was skipping the peth injection, got very cross with me when i moved slightly when he stuck me in the back with a needle (without warning), was just overall very abrupt and rude. Oh well i thought... I will never have to see him again.

My labour stalled and I got exhausted. Cue OB coming with ventouse. Just after she arrived, so did the anaesthetist.

He did not speak to me. He did not check any equipment. He did ask midwife if she had to use any boosters. (yes she said. one. although she did not disclose that i was finding the epidural less and less effective and had put me back on gas and air after 2 hours it was sited). the OB got her kit out and got between my legs. Anaesthetist then took position just to her right to watch the birth.

No one explained why he was there. he did not tell me. he made a few inappropriate comments i could have done without and then just well, watched.

Several things went wrong with my birth/aftercare. I ended up writing a letter to the hospital pointing out some aspects of my care that really were wrong and also mentioned that I was quite unhappy that this guy just showed up and hung out between my legs. they were quite surprised I was unhappy about this as "but chicken chops, he's a doctor". I wound up in a meeting with them this week and again expressed how distasteful i found this. they were again gobsmacked and said no one had ever complained before as most women simply don't mind.


I'm not british and grew up in a strict evangelical christian household. I am wondering if i am being precious about my dignity to due how i was raised? Or, would you have found this offensive too?

for the record, the story has changed several times as to why he was there but no one disagrees that while he was there he did nothing.

so... aibu?

BatsUpMeNightie Sat 17-Sep-11 21:25:05

If your objections are belief based then perhaps you should have told the hospital first? Otherwise it's best to suspend dignity at the door and get over it - you had a baby, it's messy and everything's on show. That's just the way it is.

Kayano Sat 17-Sep-11 21:26:35

Offended that a doctor was present for the birth. And a birth where the labour had stalled and you had become exhausted?!


He was prob there 'in case'. Imagine if he wasn't and something had gone wrong? I don't get how on earth that has offended you sorry

VivaLeBeaver Sat 17-Sep-11 21:26:56

So why are they saying he was there? Was he hanging about incase you needed an urgent top up of epidural for the ventouse?

I must admit it does sound a bit unusual to have an anaesthetist the for a delivery.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 17-Sep-11 21:28:09

Meant to add but it could just be that hospitals policy to have them there incase.

catsareevil Sat 17-Sep-11 21:29:06

What are the various explanations given for his presence? Was he not there in case you needed an anaesthetist?

firsttimemama Sat 17-Sep-11 21:30:19

The anaesthetist was present when I had my ventuse procedure done I'm sure I was told that that was the protocol.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 17-Sep-11 21:30:48

To be honest I don't believe in drs being in the room "just in case". I don't think there should be more people present at a birth then is needed. I don't see why an anaesthetist couldn't wait outside the room incase he was needed.

I've seen hundreds of babies born and only ever had an anaesthetist there if we were in theatre. Never for a ventouse in the room.

NinkyNonker Sat 17-Sep-11 21:31:34

I don't think he needed to hang around at the action end though did he?! I had an anaethetist at my delivery, she sat up by my head talking to me as everyone else faffed, squirting water down my throat as I was freaking out cause it was dry. She didn't need to watch!

BatsUpMeNightie Sat 17-Sep-11 21:31:51

I don't suppose he was there just because it was a great opportunity to look right up someone's chuff do you?

Honestly. <<<rolls eyes>>>

Zimbah Sat 17-Sep-11 21:31:54

YANBU. Absolutely no reason for him to be at the business end, yes he may have needed to be in the room in case you needed extra anaesthetic but 1. that should have been explained to you, and 2. he could have stood somewhere else. I don't see why giving birth means you suddenly have no right to respect and dignity. Even the most embarrassing things can be a lot less embarrassing if medical staff treat you with respect.

chickenchops Sat 17-Sep-11 21:33:24

he originally said he was there because i had problems with my epidural. i pointed out over the phone to them i was having issues but he didn't know until he came- hence asking if i had needed a booster. he now denies saying he was there because i had problems with my epidural and is saying he was there because the attending OB asked him to be before she came in.

I did have an emergency- a mass haemorrhaged.

he did nothing and now says he left the room before i hemoorhaged.

he didn't.

but there is no record of him either entering or leaving the room in my notes.

I can't figure out why he was really there other than his shift was ending and he thought he'd pop in to watch a birth.

plantsitter Sat 17-Sep-11 21:33:37

If you haven't had an adequate explanation, then YANBU. Even if it is hospital policy, this should have been explained to you.

Sorry you had a horrible time.

DaisySteiner Sat 17-Sep-11 21:33:39

YANBU if there was no medical reason for him to be there (I've never known one be in the room for a ventouse). Dignity is incredibly important IMO and should be maintained as much as possible ie not having unnecessary people hanging about watching.

thisisyesterday Sat 17-Sep-11 21:35:26

i wouldn't have found it offensive.

when i gave birth to ds1 (also had an epidural and then a ventouse) the anesthetist stayeed in the room

i also had:
student doctor
student midwife

have they given any reason why he had to be there?

tittybangbang Sat 17-Sep-11 21:35:49


Birth is an essentially private act. Which is why you shouldn't have unnecessary strangers in the room. Which is what this doctor was.

BatsUpMeNightie - there's an argument that one of the reasons why women who labour in hospital tend to have more painful and difficult labours than similar mums labouring at home, is partly because the lack of privacy. If you feel embarrassed and exposed during labour it inhibits the production of oxytocin, which is the hormone which drives the contractions. It also moderates the perception of pain. So less oxytocin = more pain and longer and more difficult labour.

Also, women at the point of birth are often very emotionally vulnerable - you're in a heightened state of alertness caused by an increase in adrenaline in second stage. Women often remember thoughtless comments made by staff about the welfare of the baby, and unkind or sensitive treatment. Some end up feeling traumatised and unable to forget what they've seen and heard.

I would feel the same as you.

And on a personal note, I've never forgotten the rude behaviour by a doctor when I had a PPH after the birth of dc2. Her refusal to make eye contact, address me by name or explain what she was doing. Horrible. I was very upset by it afterwards.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 17-Sep-11 21:36:02

Yes, it's like if a paediatrician is in the room just in case. They will normally busy themselves checking the resuscitate with their back to what's going on. They're doing this out of politeness rather than necessity as the resus will have already been checked and only takes five secs not five mins to do.

thisisyesterday Sat 17-Sep-11 21:37:53

sorry, x-posted.

i do agree that it should have been explained why he was there, and there was no need for him to watch the actual birth.

chickenchops Sat 17-Sep-11 21:41:36

I told them i wouldn't have minded if he was elsewhere in the room. they responded by saying that it was unrealistic for me to expect him to sit on stool somewhere in the corner or be across the room. I said surely he could have at least been by my knees? they said he needed to medically see exactly what was happening.

I think they know this is wrong and are just covering their asses.

notsofastmrbond Sat 17-Sep-11 21:44:33

That all sounds a bit strange and unusual to me. What were the inappropriate comments, btw?

FWIW - I had a shit epidural that wore off within an hour and never saw the aneasthetist again. I had a forceps delivery with no proper pain relief (not even a local as I'd had an epidural - the fact that it wasn't working was of no consequence hmm)

notsofastmrbond Sat 17-Sep-11 21:45:30

When I had my ELCS the anaesthetist stood behind my head, if that also helps.

Zimbah Sat 17-Sep-11 21:47:18

That does sound a bit weird. He's an anaesthetist, not an obstetrician or midwife, why would he need to see exactly what was happening? And what a stupid thing for the hospital to say, that most women don't mind unnecessary staff watching them give birth. Some women apparently don't, a lot do.

FannyFifer Sat 17-Sep-11 21:49:34

I had a load of extra people in as it was basically a shift change as I was pushing.
DD was distressed, major decels, I had 4 midwives, a paeds team just in case, an obs and possibly another random Dr.

I was pretty much getting cheered on and the majority of them were down the business end.

It didn't bother me to be honest.

chickenchops Sat 17-Sep-11 21:52:07

I was terrified of having an assisted delivery. I asked the OB if i could have a section rather then try assisted. she said no. he started laughing and said that i had asked him about a section earlier but that he had told me how much better off i'd be this way...his comment earlier to me was "ohhh nooo. a big girl like you would suffer nothing but infection." I'm a size 16. not ideal not not huge! (i was happy to go for a vaginal delivery but when he put the epidural in I had been there for 17 hours trying to get labour started, had a stroppy midwife and was exhausted and feeling demoralised)

as she was putting the ventouse on he told me what a great day it was for america- that bin laden had just been shot and killed by american soldiers. Thanks. just what you want to remember when you having a baby.

zeus123 Sat 17-Sep-11 22:04:06

Sorry I haven't read all the posts
Anaesthetists are really good in establishing intravenous access if you have a sudden hemorrhage and all your veins Suddenly collapse. This could explain why he was watching the childbirth to access the situation.
How long after your admission did you complain?
As doctors work long hours attending various emergencies, it will be impossible to remember who called and what for.

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