Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stirrups and Stories: Reclaiming the OBGYN Patient Experience Through Imagery and Words

This last week, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the National Women’s Studies Association Conference in Denver, Colorado. While there, I spent three wonderful days hearing about research, meeting people and seeing some of the amazing things that others are doing in the name of gender, social justice and empowerment.
One person that I happened to meet shared one of her projects, Stirrups and Stories, with me. Stirrups and Stories exists to allow women to share their stories, suggestions, and frustrations regarding OBGYN care. The goal is to empower women to talk about their OBGYN care (after all, who really takes the time to ask you how it is?) and to better understand women’s experiences with OBGYN care, from patients to practitioners.

The stories are reflective of a variety of different experiences, and range from notes of gratitude (“Thank you for being gentle”), to humorous (“Sooo…wanna meet for drinks later?”), to comments about consent (“If you’re going to bring 4 residents in to observe an exam, make sure you have CONSENT from the scared, pregnant 17-year-old who is in stirrups for the first time.”)

I absolutely LOVE this project. The OBGYN experience is often scary, uncomfortable, impersonal, and it is not something that we talk about. This project makes a great statement: women’s health matters and we need to talk about it. I encourage you to check out this project and maybe even consider sharing your experiences!


  1. Hey! It is Caitlyn from the conference! Thanks for taking the time to look us up and to blog about it. After hearing so much about your blog, I feel like a superstar to make it on to it. Just to let you know, we are looking for more voices on this project, so if you would like to host an event/ photo shoot that would be great. Just need to find a table (volunteer clinics are the best we have found), a photographer, spread the word and then send the photos to stirrupsandstories@gmail.com (we ask that photos are anonymous in nature - no faces - and that they are 300 dpi) for more information go to stirrupsandstories.org

  2. Choosing the perfect OBGYN doctor plays a very important role in your entire pregnancy and in your birthing experience.

    Deerfield Beach Obgyn