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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bring back Dr. Wonderful

At a rally outside Scripps Encinitas Hospital in San Diego, CA. 
Posted by a fan on the FaceBook group "I Love Dr. Biter! "

If you want a natural birth, you might find it's getting harder and harder to come by. Your friends will probably laugh at you, call you brave or crazy, and your doctor might sneer and mock you for your decision. It seems like few doctors will support you in your quest to have a healthy, normal birth - and this guy - Dr. Robert Biter - is one of them!

His patients call him 'Dr. Wonderful.' If he's so wonderful, then why has he lost his privileges at Scripps Encinitas Hospital in southern California?

Because he isn't doing enough c-sections. And because he's supporting mothers, giving them and their bodies a chance when few others will.

That's what I heard this morning when I logged onto FaceBook. I'd never even heard of this guy until this morning, and after I read this, my blood boiled for most of the day. I thought, You have got to be kidding me. But hey - look at the figures: a vaginal birth with no Pitocin, no epidural, and no interventions is probably cheap. Too cheap. Especially compared to a c-section.

I can see why his patients call him "Dr. Wonderful." In the photos posted over at The Navelgazing Midwife he looks like the baby's father, right in there with mom holding her hand or wiping her brow. Dressed in regular street clothes, not much identifies him as the doctor except the pair of sterile gloves. Dude, that rocks. There is nothing more psychologically and emotionally strengthening than a care provider who is right there with you, fighting the good fight to bring this baby into the world: not leaning over you, saying "You're not progressing fast enough - you're lousy at pushing!" and other nonsensical crap.

When women want a natural, normal birth, they head to Dr. Wonderful's office - in droves, apparently. He gets nothing but glowing reviews from patients when you Google his name:
"Dr. Biter is a fantastic doctor for delivering your baby! While most will show up at the last second to pull your child out while they're crowning - he will be there through the entire pushing process ..."
 "If you have a birth plan, this man will honor it..." (from a dad)
"Many of my friends have also delivered with him and each of us have had great birth experiences with him."
"I wanted an all-natural birth experience and he was totally on board. He really helped relax me and had that baby out in 30 minutes." (first-time mom)
There are lots more. Apparently if there are any negative reviews, it's because of the horrendous wait time. Of course it's bad - he's probably one of the most sought-after guys in the area. If I could birth with this guy, I'd probably camp out in his office for a week, if need be!

Scripps Encitas Maternity Center boasts of "high-tech equipment, medical care and comfort to offer you the world-class care that Scripps is known for." Apparently they haven't learned that high-tech isn't even necessary sometimes, and isn't always better. If they're so concerned about your care, then why are they trying to take away the one person who could help facilitate a happier, healthier birth experience? Now that's world-class care. But that doesn't make them any money. Sure, their patients are over the moon with their experiences and they and their babies do better for it, but the hospital's bankroll doesn't reflect that. In fact, what it says to the outside world is, "We are willing to force someone to put you and your baby at increased uncessary risk in order to fund our facility." That is definitely low class, not world-class.


19lt70 said...

I can hardly believe he lost his privileges because the hospital wasn't making enough money off his patients. There are doctors, OBGYN's, who have killed (yes, killed) patients who haven't lost privileges at their hospital. I doubt "Dr. Wonderful" will be gone for too long. Hopefully the public outcry, from his patients and other natural childbirth advocates, will force the hospital to reinstate him.

The Deranged Housewife said...

That's the only reasoning I can think of - is that he takes a hands-off, natural approach while all the high-tech stuff they offer just sits around going unused. This is why, I bet, that so many OBs do regular ultrasounds on women - because they have to pay for the machine.

I have more related to this post - maybe I'll do a follow-up in a few days or so. :D

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