SAN DIEGO, CA – Craig Hartford, spokesman for the Doula Association of Southern California (DASC), released a statement last week claiming that doulas had at last achieved medical legitimacy.
Mr. Hartford is referring to an incident that recently occurred at the Los Angeles Community Medical Center. It seems that Dr. John Pate, the on call anesthesiologist was paged at 2 AM regarding a 22-year-old young lady in labor with her first child.
Dr. Pate sleepily returned the page and spoke with the charge nurse of the labor and delivery ward who relayed that this young lady was dilated to 6 cm, was vigorously contracting every 2-3 minutes, and was requesting epidural analgesia. What happened next is the basis of DASC’s claim that doulas have cemented their place in the field of medical professionals.
It seems that Dr. Pate’s reply to the charge nurse was for her to page the on-call doula STAT and that he recommended a natural delivery. After completing the call he rolled over to the left side of the bed. The patient in question was still billed for anesthesia consultation.