Below are excerpts from a recent birth story we received. They are the words used to describe an 18-year old mother's birth.
"...admitted in hospital at 3 cm...I was scared after 5 cm... the nurse got agitated with my crying...it was a maternity hospital government and they woudn't allow any relatives and no mobile phone...I was scared...I heard the doctor ask the nurse to inject Pethidine...I started being in and out of disturbed sleep...a male doctor came and broke my membrane...the pain was worsening and I was immobile with the belt on my tummy and I was flat on my back...I was wheeled into the delivery room...they asked me to push, but I didn't know how to. The nurse scolded me...I was screaming...at last they started beating up my stomach and the baby was out...breastfeeding was difficult in the first 2 days but then I learnt...I fed her with my milk alone for 1 and a half years..."
THIS IS ALL TOO TYPICAL. THIS IS WHY WE DO THIS WORK. Birth should NEVER be like this. May Allah ease all mothers and give them better. May Allah guide all practitioners to compassionate, evidence-based care. There are so many abuses and oppressions in this short except:
1-nurse got agitated-->lack of compassion
2-no relatives or phone allowed-->isolated
3-Pethidine-->HORRIBLE DRUG THAT SOULD BE BANNED
4-disturbed sleep-->drug induced by Pethidine
5-Male doctor breaks water-->unnecssary, outdated practice
6-immobile-->OUTDATED cruel practice
7-belt on my tummy-->of course needed for Pethidine, but for low risk moms not on drugs the use of CTG/EFM serves no benefit in outcomes and is considered a harmful practice of no use in routine care
8-flat on my back-->WORST position ever! makes pain worse and makes birth physiologically more difficult. OUTDATED and HARMFUL practice
9-nurse scolded me-->lack of compassion (seriously? why did you go into this work???)
10-beating up my stomach-->medical term for this is "fundal pressure" and it has a place in emergency cases, but is seriously harmful and should not be used unless mom cannot push (hello-PETHIDINE!) and baby is in severe distress
11-breastfeeding was difficult-->Ya Think!?! after all that!
May Allah bless this mother and relieve her from the traumatic memories of her birth at such a tender young age. May He reward her for her determination to breastfeed and for every drop of breast milk her baby received. Our mothers deserve so much better.
May Allah guide our care providers to more compassionate and evidence-based care. I CANNOT SAY THIS ENOUGH. PLEASE JOIN ME IN THIS DUA DAILY.
WE MUST WORK TO EDUCATE AND PREPARE MOTHERS AND WE MUST WORK TO EDUCATE AND GUIDE CARE PROVIDERS.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. PREPARATION IS KEY!
#AMANI_Birth Be a part of this life changing work.