Scolded: Many women feel they were mistreated during childbirth, says study

Labour and childbirth are two of the hardest things a woman will ever have to go through.

Both physically and mentally, it is exhausting - and having the right support is essential.

However, according to a survey published in the Reproductive Health journal, one out of six women reported being mistreated while in labour.

This mistreatment ranged from "loss of autonomy; being shouted at, scolded, or threatened; and being ignored, refused, or receiving no response to requests for help."

Researchers surveyed roughly 2,000 women and found that mistreatment was more common among women of colour, partners of colour, lower socioeconomic status, and under the age of 30.

It was found that this was because of medical care, as only 5.1 percent of women who had home births reported abuse while more than 28 percent of women who gave birth at a hospital did.

The study also found that women felt they were being "scolded" and "threatened," and women were being told "if you do not comply or do this, your baby will die or you will have a bad outcome.''

Saraswathi Vedam, the study’s lead author, told Vox that this mistreatment is a widespread phenomenon. 

She said, ''Mistreatment, when you look at it in all of its aspects, certainly includes people being shouted at, scolded, or experiencing physical and verbal abuse.''

She continued, ''But there’s also...not being listened to, not being engaged in the decision, not having the ability to self-determine what care happens for you and your body."

With women being in such a vulnerable position, it is the duty of care of the hospital and staff to make sure they feel safe and comfortable as they prepare to welcome a baby into the world. 




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