Who do you want on your birth team?

Here's one Q & A exchange — the last one, in fact — from an interview Tara Parker-Pope, who writes the "Well" blog for the New York Times, conducted last year with Randi Hutter Epstein, physician, mother of four and author of the 2010 book on childbirth, Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank.

Q (TPP)  Should the care of women during childbirth be reserved for other women?

A (RHE)  I look at it as a doctor-patient relationship history, more than a man-woman kind of thing. When you hear women say, “I’d much rather give birth with a midwife than a doctor,’’ I think, “Why?” I love my ob-gyn. It’s sad people think you’ll have a nicer person if you avoid the medical system. That’s the feeling you get when you talk to women. I think if women had better relationships with their doctors, I think that would help. They would be more informed. They would believe the information their doctors tell them.

I agree with some of what Dr. Epstein is saying. I loved both my ob-gyns, too. I believe, though, that to choose a midwife for a birth attendant instead of a doctor is to opt for, or at least to attempt to have, a qualitatively different experience.

It isn't just a hope to deal with a nice person. It's embarking on a whole different journey.

What do you think? I would love to hear from you.

The Wrong Guy

One of the points Dr. Robert Wachter made in his speech at the ACOG meeting in May, 2009, was that everybody makes mistakes. True, people can wind up dead when doctors make mistakes, but everybody else makes mistakes, too.

To illustrate his point, Dr. Wachter showed a video from the BBC, "The Wrong Guy," the tale of two men named Guy who were waiting in reception areas in the BBC's London offices on the same day in 2006.

One was there to interview for a job.  The other, an expert on information technology, had been scheduled to hold forth on the network's News 24 program about a ruling in Apple Corp.'s suit against Apple Inc. The Beatles' music company and the computer firm had previously agreed to stick to their own businesses. But then came iTunes, and Apple Corp. sued Apple Inc. for alleged encroachment on its music brand.

A London judge ruled in Apple Inc.'s favor and the BBC invited tech expert Guy Kewney on to chat about the ruling. But it was Guy Goma, the unwitting job applicant, who was summoned from the waiting room for the interview.

The look on "the wrong Guy's" face when he catches on to who they think he is is priceless!