Another excerpt from a birth story recently received.
"My water broke...but no pains. I was relaxed as I could feel my babies movement...[and I wanted to] wait at home until active labour...starts...my mother was way too worried and we left for the hospital...still no pains. The doctor checked me, which was pretty uncomfortable and painful, no dilation she said and send me to get ultrasound and it showed that the baby was 4 kg and my water wasn't enough for her so she send me to get admitted and said if I dont go into labour they will try to induce me but now the baby's heartbeat was high and they said if doesn't go back to normal they will have to do a c section...I was induced at Fair time and I started to have mild pains and Alhamdulillah the babies heart rate was normal...but they kept checking how much dilated I was every 2-3 hours--EVEN THOUGH I BEGGED THEM NOT TO THEY WOULDN'T LISTEN. The doctor was pretty rude, she told my mom you wanted a normal delivery so now take the pains. I was put on IV immediately after I was admitted and also...[CTG/EFM] was attached to my abdomen so I couldn't move around. Anyway, she broke my waters, which made me cry...I was moved into delivery room...and I was left alone, just a nurse...she kept coming and checking me and it gave me even more pain, and when I BEGGED HER NOT TO she said she was helping me...I was given gas to cope with the pain and I think some injection too because I couldn't remember ...Oh the doctor was still rude and kept shouting at me to hold my thighs properly and open them as wide as I could and bring myself up. Alhamdulillah the baby was born and i felt so relieved knowing I didn't get a cut down there, but low and behold! The doctor was getting ready to stitch me up [because she had cut me] and I just FELT SO BETRAYED AND HELPLESS, why didn't she tell me she was going to do an episiotomy? Anyway, they didn't even give me my baby until after she was cleaned and dressed, even then they just showed her to me and took her to meet her father and my family..."
BIRTH SHOULD NEVER BE THIS WAY. Why are we accepting non-evidence based and harsh treatment? Words matter. What's said to a mother in labor matters. How she is made to FEEL matters. Yes, sometimes there are needed procedures or interventions...but most of the time what we are doing to moms in labor is not evidence based nor necessary and in fact even harmful. Even if we really "need" to intervene, it should be with INFORMED CONSENT (and respect for a mother's refusal, should that be the case).
THIS IS WHY WE DO THIS WORK!
1-They kept checking how much dilated I was every 2-3 hours--EVEN THOUGH I BEGGED THEM NOT TO THEY WOULDN'T LISTEN. -->Not only are receptive vaginal exams invasive, they are unnecessary and painful. And by the way, when a woman says NO--it means you are not ALLOWED to enter her vagina. PERIOD/FULL STOP!
2-doctor was pretty rude, she told my mom you wanted a normal delivery so now take the pains -->Why does someone feel it's okay to mock a mother in labor? Where is the compassion and encouraging care?
3-[CTG/EFM] was attached to my abdomen so I couldn't move around. -->continuous fetal monitoring has it's place, for example when a mother is on induction drugs, as this mom was, but let it be known that for healthy low risk mothers who are not on any drugs, CTG/EFM is not evidence based practice and does not give better outcomes, and it is in fact considered a harmful practice when used as a matter of routine.
4-she broke my waters-->WAIT A MINUTE!!! Wasn't she induced because her waters were broke? Ya Raab.
5-I was left alone-->she means isolated from her support person
6-I BEGGED HER NOT TO--> AGAIN, what part of NO is not being understood here?!?
7-I was given gas to cope with the pain and I think some injection too because I couldn't remember-->sounds like Pethidine but cannot say for sure...regardless that was not INFORMED CONSENT
8-doctor was still rude and kept shouting at me to hold my thighs properly and open them as wide as I could and bring myself up-->first of all...what right does anyone have to shout at anyone else? and moreover a person in a state of vulnerability! not to mention that opening the legs wide is not a best practice to start with!
9-...she had cut me] and I just FELT SO BETRAYED AND HELPLESS, why didn't she tell me she was going to do an episiotomy?-->not only is episiotomy an outdated and rarely needed procedure, but to do so without consent is vile and despicable. Even the Saudi MOH states that episiotomy should not be cut except in severe emergent cases and even then only WITH MOTHER'S CONSENT.
10-they didn't even give me my baby until after she was cleaned and dressed, even then they just showed her to me and took her to meet her father and my family... -->heartbreaking that after all that this mother does not even get a single sweet moment with her baby, as if the mother is simply an empty vessel and her baby the prize of the family...again, HEARTBREAKING on top of which cruel to both mother and child whose only instinct and need at that moment is each other...not to mention totally harmful and non evidence based practice to take the child away.
...and once again, THIS IS WHY WE DO THIS WORK! Education of Mothers, Fathers, Families, Care Providers, and Communities is an amanah (responsibility) upon us because knowledge is power and preparation is key.
May Allah give mothers better than this, because we all deserve better as a matter of normal childbearing care and may He guide our care providers to better, ya Raab, amen.
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