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Stories of traumatic childbirth experiences sadly resonate all too frequently, leaving a lingering impact on our collective consciousness. Such narratives often raise questions regarding the intentions and actions of healthcare providers. Nevertheless, it is crucial to acknowledge that these instances represent outliers rather than the norm. The vast majority of women are fortunate to embark on positive and empowering journeys into motherhood. In this collection, ten women recount their past encounters with childbirth and newborn care that could have led to potential legal action against the hospital.
1. Disregarding Preemie Life
A mom shares an alarming story about giving birth 3 months too early. When the baby was born alive, the doctor placed her in a metal bowl and went back to attending to the mom. Apparently, he didn’t think the baby would survive and didn’t plan to even try to save her. The nurse insisted and was able to get the baby stable and sent to a hospital where she could get proper NICU care. She was there for 52 days and is now a thriving teenager!
If it had been up to that doctor, this young girl’s life would have ended on day one. How sad.
2. Complete Lack of Support
A daughter shares her mom’s story of giving birth to her. She was born unexpectedly at home before an ambulance could reach the mom. When they arrived at the hospital, the nurse attending was cold and unsupportive. Her mom needed stitches and wanted something for the pain, but the nurse flatly said no. Then, the nurse handed the mom her baby and told her to start feeding, even though she’d never breastfed before.
What’s the point of being in the hospital if the nurse disregards all concerns and doesn’t offer advice when it’s clear a mom could use support?
3. Not Listening to Mom’s Concerns
A mom shares her story about giving birth quickly: “At some point during my labor the nurses were helping me to sit up to get my epidural. And I couldn’t do it. I told them it felt like I had a bowling ball between my legs. They just rolled their eyes and walked away for a minute, then I started yelling, “He’s coming out, he’s coming out!” They said no, you’re only 5 or 6 cm dilated. I said this was my fourth child and I knew what was happening. My mom went down to look and guess what? He was coming out. The bed wasn’t even prepped yet! The nurse flew across the room and caught him just in time.”
4. Completely Disregarding Mom’s Wishes
The same mom shares more of a shocking story. She requested that her baby be exclusively breastfed. Turns out, a nurse bottle-fed her newborn in the middle of the night, and he choked. The baby had to be resuscitated and was in bad shape for a week.
This is part of the reason why most hospitals encourage the baby to stay with the mom in her room unless otherwise requested.
5. Lack of Consent
A mom shares a doctor’s complete disregard for consent when he pulled her mucus plug at a routine visit 4 weeks before her due date. He said he was going to examine her cervix, and instead removed the plug without asking and said she’d be in labor within a few hours.
She reports it turned out okay, and her son was born healthy, but she never saw that doctor again.
6. Ignoring a Newborn’s Symptoms
A woman shares her mom’s struggles with her. “After I was born I would barely eat, and what I did eat I promptly vomited. My mom was breastfeeding at the time and was worried something was wrong with her milk lmao. She called my pediatrician several times to try and get an appointment and was basically told that she was over exaggerating and a bad mother if she couldn’t figure it out.”
Her mom eventually took her to a different clinic when she wanted answers. The nurse took one look at her and knew she was lactose intolerant, which would have been an easy fix if anyone had listened to her at the beginning.
7. A Tired Doctor with No Cares
“The OB started my c-section without ensuring I was frozen first. I had had an epidural but it was not topped up yet as the anesthetist had not arrived in the room. The OB didn’t want to wait (not an emergency), just an a-h*le doc who wanted to go to bed.
My last memory before I was put out was the anesthetist saying if you don’t stop she is going to arrest. That doctor never apologized or came to see me after. He did lose his license (or gave it up instead of facing assault charges)
The anesthetist did, and he apologized for not being there sooner. He went to the college of physicians and testified against him for what he did to me. There was no reason for it. He was just tired and wanted to go to bed (it was 4 am).”
8. Complete Stupidity in the 70s Around Baby Temp
A woman shares her ridiculous story about old-school ideas. “She [my daughter] was born in June and there was no A/C back then – the maternity ward was very warm. Then they put my sister in about four layers of clothing. She was covered, head to toe, in a heat rash and hadn’t slept since she’d been born – two days before. Mom went and got her from the nursery and took her back to her room, where she stripped her down to the skin and laid her on her stomach, with a diaper under her for messes. Sister fell asleep in seconds. “
9. Not Valuing Freedom of Choice
A mom recalls a major attitude she got from her doctor (and surgeon) for not wanting to try and flip her breech baby while in labor. Despite his recommendation, she was already in so much pain that she wanted to opt for a C-section. The rest of the time, he acted like a total diva during surgery. How rude.
10. Extreme Breastfeeding Pressure
One mom shares a sad reality when feeling pressure to breastfeed against their wishes. “When my eldest was born I had a really heartless midwife who refused to let me bottle feed my son formula and insisted I breast feed him.. well, I didn’t have anything (not even colostrum) to give which was a very common thing in my family.. she then had the nerve to complain when he wouldn’t stop crying from hunger because I couldn’t feed him…
On the 3rd day, hubby ended up coming in to the maternity ward asking why we were both crying. I told him and he went off at the midwife for starving out son and forcing me to do something I clearly couldn’t physically do… within minutes we were both off getting taught how to make a bottle for him (he ended up having the equivalent of 500mls of milk in a couple of hours) then I got told “I know you think you know everything now you’re a mum but you don’t” so I responded with “he’s asleep now with a full tummy which you wouldn’t let me give him, no wonder he wouldn’t stop crying””
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