Birth trauma? What’s that? It must mean something awful happened to the baby during delivery. Sometimes, but that’s not what qualifies for birth trauma. This is the term being used by therapists and doctors everywhere to label the horrific experiences some mommies have gone through to bring their babies Earthside.
No, we aren’t talking about birthing big babies without drugs or crowning on the side of the road because the baby came faster than expected. While those scenarios could contribute to birth trauma if the mother is ill-prepared for labor, birth trauma digs deeper.
It’s the posttraumatic stress disorder of birth. It’s a lingering fear that causes new mothers to relive their painful birth experiences in flashbacks. It’s a serious complication in the lives of many new mommies who are being deprived of the motherhood experience they longed for because they still can’t get over the birth.
What constitutes birth trauma? It varies. Some women may end up feeling like they were coerced into interventions during their birth that they weren’t emotionally or mentally on board with. Others might feel as though they weren’t given informed consent, or even a chance to consent, to medical procedures.
Some women are reeling over the C-section they never planned on having that they don’t think they needed in hindsight. Others feel sexually assaulted by doctors who insert their hands into their vaginas without permission. Yes, this really happens. In fact, it appears it’s happening more and more. Between 25 and 34 percent of mothers identify with having a traumatic birth. As a result, women are speaking up and speaking out.
They won’t live in fear of their doctors anymore. They will not abide by the notion that the doctor knows best. They are arming themselves with knowledge, statistics and medical literature. They’re walking into labor and delivery wards with a birth plan in one hand and printouts from medical journals in the other. Because no one deserves this outcome.
Crystal shared her story and noted it is the reason she decided to become a doula: “My story about birth trauma is how my OB yelled in my face when I was 34 hours into an induced labor that I had to get an epidural. Then, 2 hours later my daughter was born and was suctioned aggressively because she did not cry immediately. A few hours later, the nurses came to do a newborn check and asked to take her to the nursery so they could do her hearing test.”
“For the next 18 hours, they avoided questions about where my daughter was, what was going on, when she was coming back, and when I could see her. It was almost a full day before I demanded to be brought to my daughter, who had been put in the NICU on IV nutrition because they were worried about potential laryngomalacia.”
“For the next week, I fought with the doctors to let me hold my daughter, be there with her during the day, stay on the hospital campus when I was discharged without her, breastfeed, and eventually gave in to several medications and procedures I was not ok with in exchange for being able to take my daughter home.”
Amanda shared: “I knew I was not supposed to feel hurt for myself or complain about my experience. My child died. It was not allowed to be about me. That was selfish as a mother. However, I went through life with this feeling that a huge chunk of my time was missing. I felt robbed. I was pregnant for 9 months, I had planned and visualized my peaceful birth and suddenly it was all over.”
“A congenital heart defect, a hospital birth, an induction, an epidural, the monitoring, the drugs, nurses holding me down, a sarcastic anesthesiologist when they made me get an epidural, a NICU stay.”
“Everything I have always fought against happened to me this time. I grieved my child, I grieved the natural home birth I lost. From the outside, the birth itself would have appeared perfect. I was not in pain; I pushed two times and he was born. But I am deeply and permanently hurting from the experience and loss of the birth that was ripped away from me.”
Susan shared: “I have four children; two girls and twin boys. My first pregnancy and delivery was normal. With my second, my daughter, I had a series of symptoms during pregnancy: trouble breathing, rough cough, shingles all over my body, I kept complaining about these symptoms and every time it was shook off as pregnancy-related.”
“I was given medicine for the cough thinking it was bronchitis. However, it would never go away. For four months, I continuously had a harsh cough. I could not breath at night when I laid down and suffered insomnia because of the fear of not breathing. I would get by sleeping upright most nights. An ultrasound appointment showed my daughter had not grown for 3 weeks and had low amniotic fluid. They decided to do a c section at 34 weeks.”
“Upon laying down on the table for the c section I could not breathe. They told me they’d do a chest x -ray after delivery. They found I had a tumor the size of a melon in my chest pressing against my heart and lungs. This explained the trouble breathing. Diagnosis was Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Immediately after I had a chest biopsy and followed up with months of chemo and radiation.”
“With the twins, I was on bedrest most of the time due to placenta previa. I had a fairly normal pregnancy, though. However, at 32 weeks they ruled they needed to deliver the babies early. On the way to the hospital I remembered crying I felt something was going to go wrong (mostly due to my PTSD from my previous delivery).”
“I went in for a C-section and woke up weeks later. Upon my groggy understanding of the situation at waking up I found I had been in a medically-induced coma. During the C-section, they found I had placenta percreta. I had bled too much and required a 26-unit blood transfusion and an emergency hysterectomy.”
“They were able to save my life. They were not positive I would wake from the coma and even had family from states away visit just in case. The boys were very small but healthy and thrived in the neonatal unit.”
Stories like this speak to the lack of regard a lot of doctors have for the health of women in this country. While women are more likely to seek help for health ailments, they are also more likely to be told their issues aren’t serious when they are. Ladies, know your bodies and listen to your instincts.
Beth shared: “I was a young first time mother. I had just turned 20 while I was pregnant with her. I had a fairly easy pregnancy, besides a lot of nausea, but I really wish that I had known then what I know now about labor and birth. Unfortunately, I was induced at 38 weeks when my blood pressure started rising. It was consistently high for a week or so and my doctor felt it was best to induce me before I developed preeclampsia.”
“I was not dilating and the nurses had to put a pill into my cervix every 12 hours. I was in so much pain from the way they roughly inserted it that my cervix was bleeding. None of the nurses told me that I should be changing positions, walking around, or moving as much as I could."
"So, I literally just laid in bed crying from the contractions that were so intense. I was never educated on breathing techniques or getting through those contractions. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing”
“All of the nurses seemed frustrated with me that I was scared of all of them. It took 12 hours after my water broke for me to start pushing, and I pushed for 3 hours. The nurses were talking amongst themselves while I tried to push out my baby. They were not assisting me, supporting me, telling me when to push — nothing.”
“I was completely exhausted from so many days in labor. They gave me an oxygen mask and told me to push harder. They finally called the doctor in after 3 hours with no progress. The first thing he did was come in and cut me. An episiotomy, without telling me what was going on or even asking me if it was okay."
"My epidural had not worked and I felt the knife. After that, he told me to push harder. I was screaming in pain from the cut; I told him I can't do it; he told the nurses to get ready to prepare to "suction" my baby out.”
“I couldn't handle hearing that; maybe it was a wake-up call. I pushed with everything that I could and gave birth to my beautiful baby. She was born sunny side up, which contributed to the trouble I had giving birth to her and the intense back labor I was feeling with no relief from the epidural at all. She was and is perfect in every way, but thinking about my long and traumatic birth breaks my heart.”
“The most important thing I would want any expecting mom to take from my story is this: educate yourself on your rights during childbirth. It is your body, your birth and your baby. Don't let anyone, even your doctor, scare you out of the birth that you want and don't let a single nurse intimidate you into lying in bed thinking there is something wrong with you because your birth is not going perfectly smooth.”
“Our bodies were meant to do this and we are capable. Go with the flow during labor; move around, change positions, educate yourself on breathing techniques, etc. If you do not feel like your nurses are giving you the support and care you need, speak up! I also encourage a lot of women to consider hiring a midwife; they are there to support you, encourage you, assist you and advocate for you at the hospital.”
Kayla shared: “I birthed at my local, certified "baby-friendly," hospital. I had written and left copies of my birth plan all over. Essentially, it said let me do my thing unless there is an emergency. Everything was going great; it was a long, slow labor but after 40 sleepless hours I finally got to pushing.”
“I was up on a squat bar when there was a shift change and a new midwife and two students walked in. Before introducing herself, she said " go ahead and push" and then points at my baby's slowly crowning head and starts talking to the students. Then she said, okay, lie down. I was a bit taken aback and said, I’m okay here, and she said, no, lay down, your legs are going to get tired. So, in the vulnerable state I was in I laid down on my back.”
“She then proceeded to put my legs up in stirrups with one student holding each leg and they proceeded to tell me when and how to push which was the complete opposite of what I had asked. Then when my baby's head was out, the midwife and one student grabbed my baby by his head and started yanking him back and forth out of me while I screamed at them to stop!”
“They did not, and they pulled my baby out and handed him to me. The only way to describe what I felt was shock. I was holding my baby yet felt completely emotionless and empty. I felt I had been completely violated and I did not snap out of it until four days later and then could not look at my son without crying. I felt so disconnected and robbed of what was supposed to be a beautiful moment. Instead I will only remember it as an assault.”
Teresa shared: “When I went into labour with my seventh child I was pretty expected. I had cleaned the house and done the laundry. After several hours of mild contractions, I called the midwife, made my chicken soup and waited. Something just didn't seem right this time around; the pressure wasn't right, the intensity. After labouring all night, we transferred to the hospital. I had to scramble for childcare because I anticipated a baby by morning and everyone was sleeping!”
“We transferred to the hospital and I cried all the way there. Labour just doesn't stop. Then I was assessed by another midwife whose face couldn't hide something wasn't right. That wrong pressure was the baby’s chin, not a head. We had a full facial presentation to deal with and he was quite lodged apparently. I was briskly prepped for surgery. All the while having contractions and now being cared for by brisk nurses going about their business.”
“Papers were shoved toward me to sign. The doctor asked if I'd like to have my tubes tied, while under duress, no previous ideas about this. No! I insisted they wait for doing a catheter after I had the epidural much to their chagrin. Why did I have to advocate for myself at this time? I felt so abandoned, in pain, and out of control. This was not supposed to be happening.”
“I remember being wheeled down to the elevator and them allowing someone in with us. I wanted to scream. I was still in active labour; all my visions of this birth were being shredded one by one. When I finally got down to the OR the nurse called me Martha. I am not Martha. She had the wrong chart. Again, stripped of myself. I didn't even feel like I was experiencing this anymore. It had to be a nightmare, but it hurt so much.”
“Finally, epidural, anesthesiologist, catheter, relief from physical pain and my husband was back. I tried so hard to be thankful he was going to be okay. They said his neck would break if he'd been born naturally. My insides would be destroyed. But they were; my heart was breaking. The meds started making me itch and suddenly I was being restrained because I scratched my nose. I said it wasn't necessary; I could stay still, and yet I now felt like I was being raped.”
“Cut open. Baby extracted. It's a boy. My husband went with him. No cuddling, no kisses, no skin to skin, no nursing, no inhaling the sweet baby I had grown in my womb. Gone. I was alone for hours. Nurses forgot to change me and help me up and the entire bed was covered in blood to my knees. Seven hours later I finally insisted on getting my baby. Seven hours alone with my mind stuck on the failure I was. He is going to be ten this May. I still can't tell this story without tears.”
Kristin shared: “With my first child I was young and uninformed. I went into natural labor 10 days overdue. When we went to the hospital, I was 1cm dilated and they were going to send me home until they pulled up my chart. They admitted me and sent me to my room. I was immediately given an IV, hooked up to monitors and they started Pitocin to 'jump start my labor.' I had no idea what I was in for.”
“The contractions got worse and I eventually got an epidural at 6 cm dilated, but wasn't allowed to move around due to the monitors so I was in a ton of pain beforehand. They broke my waters at 7cm and the baby had meconium in the waters. My husband freaked out and the doctor threatened to have him removed from the hospital. Instead of reassuring him everything would be ok she freaked out on him which caused me major stress, too, and slowed my labor down.”
“They upped the Pitocin to counteract it. Around 11:40pm, I started pushing. I told them the epidural wasn't working. They told me they turned it off so I would know when to push. It was horrible. The next thing I knew, the doctor gave me an episiotomy. The NICU team was in the room to assess our daughter when she was born and it was a whirlwind. She was born at 12am and immediately given to the NICU team to be checked over. Once she was, she was placed on my chest 10 min later.”
“The doctor started pulling on my umbilical cord and ended up detaching it before it was ready. I started hemorrhaging and the placenta still wouldn't come out. The doctor looked at me and said, 'I have to get this out or we will be taking you to the OR for a hysterectomy. It's going to hurt.' I was 23. She reached up inside of me; a nurse climbed on my bed and pushed down on my stomach and uterus. The doctor manually peeled the placenta off of my uterus while the nurse pushed down on me. I was completely unmedicated and hemorrhaging. I passed out from the pain and blood loss.”
“My husband was holding our newborn thinking he's watching his wife die in front of his eyes. I came to after they pulled out the smelling salts and the room was full of people. My husband was asking what's going on and the doctor continued to tell him to be quiet; they were working. They got my bleeding under control and gave me the baby back. I was so out of it I couldn't even hold her by myself.”
“I found out later that I had a 4th degree tear because she gave me an episiotomy. I passed out two more times while she repaired my tear as they didn't want to give me medication at all due to my low blood pressure so I felt everything as she stitched me up. There were doctors, nurses, and students in my room all night. I was exhausted.”
“The next morning my husband left to get something from our home while I slept. I woke up to social services wanting to know If I felt safe at home. I tried to sit myself up to ask them what they were talking about but couldn't. The woman said the doctor reported my husband based on his reactions the night before when we found out she had meconium in the amniotic fluid and while I was bleeding out. He was in a full-fledged panic and the doctor escalated the situation instead of diffusing it.”
“Shortly after that, a male student nurse came in and asked to check my vaginal area, because he hadn't seen a 4th degree tear before. I couldn't wait to get out of that hospital. It took me almost 3 months to heal from her birth and we were so traumatized we questioned having any more children.”
“Thankfully we did our research and found a great midwife before even considering having another child and have been blessed with three more children. We had two more traumatic births before we decided to be done with hospitals and recently welcomed our baby into the world at home. No complications at all after 2.5 hours of active labor and a beautiful, peaceful, unmedicated birth.”
Kristi shared: “My birth with my second was more traumatic for my husband at the time than it was for me; so much so that he didn't want any more babies and was sure he almost lost both of us. It never really bothered me until now. I'm 27 weeks with #3 and I'm second-guessing all of the decisions for this pregnancy from the perceived danger of birth #2. I was induced with my first at 39 weeks simply for convenience. Now that I'm older and more experienced I can't believe I did it that way, but I did.”
“After hours of Pitocin and not much progress I gave in and got the epidural. I ended up having a normal hospital delivery complete with episiotomy, no real skin to skin and a sore back from an epidural that I really didn't want to begin with. Fast-forward 4 years to the birth of #2. I am again induced but I held out until 41 weeks.”
“I was insistent that I didn't want to be checked with this one; I was going to keep moving, and I was not having any pain meds! I stayed up and walking for around 5 hours, until I was dilated to about 7 cm and I was getting exhausted. I laid in the bed for the last little while until I was at 9 cm. With my first baby, I only made it to 9 cm and pushed baby past that last cm so when I stalled out at 9 this time we all just went with it. I pushed and pushed until baby was crowning and the doctor was rushing to make it in time.”
“This is when it all went south. By this time, I was so tired that I was dozing off between contractions. Baby’s head came out with a hand on her face. Sheer panic went through the room; I have since learned this is called nuchal hand and isn't that big of a deal, but at the time everyone freaked! So, the doctor immediately pushed my baby around trying to fold the arm back down and once it was there I had two nurses on top of me mashing my belly with each contraction screaming at me to wake up and push.”
“Once the arm was in position, she came out easy enough. I ended up with a 3rd degree tear and baby girl had a broken collar bone. At the time, I was still thinking we were saved; thank goodness, I had help! Baby healed perfectly, and after some time so did I. Now here I am pregnant with #3. All of the doctors are treating me like #2 had shoulder dystocia and insisting that I be induced at 37 weeks so he doesn't get too big.”
“After the first recommendation, I started researching and found that size has less to do with shoulder dystocia than I thought. I’m feeling like the issues we experienced may have been caused by being induced and not from the size of baby’, she was 9 lb. 13 oz. My doctor has asked why do you even come see me if you’re not going to listen to me, when I tell him that I don't want to induce early."
"At this point, based on what I have read and learned from many mothers in natural birthing groups, I should just wait it out and go naturally this time but because #2 was so scary. I keep second-guessing myself.”
Julyssa shared: “With my first two children I had beautiful water births at my local birth center. My midwife let me do my thing; I birthed them how I wanted to and got all my wishes granted. My 3rd baby we found out I had low iron — severely low. So, we had no choice but to deliver in a hospital despite the fact that my home birth was already ready to go.”
“When I went into labor with my baby girl I went to hospital and was met with distaste for my natural ways. They wouldn't take the monitors off me; they were all in my face disturbing my labor vibes. I took hypnobirthing; so, being in the moment and just laboring on my own with my husband was my thing. They constantly distracted me and kept walking in and out of my room bugging me for everything.”
“When it was getting closer to baby time I knew it and I asked if it was okay that I squatted to get my baby girl out. It was what I had previously done for my 2 boys and was how I felt comfortable birthing. I was met with shrugs, I don't think so's, and no, I don't think doctor will approve of that. "
"Well, it was finally go time. I got on my hospital bed and squatted comfortably to birth my baby; I felt her head coming and let them know the doctor needed to come in now if they needed him. I didn't mind him not being there but I knew that was what they wanted.”
“They quickly called him and when he rushed in he had no time to put gloves on; she was coming. Well, the doctor quickly told the nurses I wasn't allowed to squat. So, two or three of them grabbed me by my shoulders and forced me onto my back. I was focused on getting baby out; I pushed back and told them no, I need to squat, and they didn't care; they held me down while I was forced to get baby out on my back.”
“It was the worst feeling ever mixed with the happiest emotions of meeting my baby girl. I was vulnerable and couldn't stop them from making me because my body naturally needed to get baby out at that moment; I couldn't hold her in and fight with them, I felt so robbed. I felt raped almost. I was forced to do something I did not feel comfortable with at all. I was happy afterward when I met my baby girl, but every time I look back on that moment I feel an ugly feeling. It's hard to describe and just something that was taken away from me in a way.”
“I just gave birth to my fourth child three weeks ago. Unfortunately, I had low iron again for the pregnancy so again my home birth was out of the question. So, this time I did it the safe way. I labored at home for as long as I could. My waters started leaking at 12:30am. We didn't get to hospital until 3:30am and we barely made it. She was making her way downward before we even made it to hospital; we got upstairs to our room and I had my fourth baby girl at 3:56 in the morning.”
“I was able to squat to birth her. Shortest labor ever; easiest birth ever. I was able to do my thing in the comfort of my own home until it was time to go to hospital. The nurses had no time do anything since I was ready to go as soon as I walked in the door. I got my redemption with my birth. I was able to labor in peace and birth how I wanted to. It kind of helps me to not feel so bad about my third child's birth; its helped me since now my last memory of a hospital birth is a good one.”
Sara shared: “Thanks for taking the initiative to write about birth trauma. There is so much literature about preparing for birth, and yet so little information about post birth care (self and the baby’s). On my end, I found both extremely difficult and challenging, and without the support of my family, there is absolutely no way I could have recovered and become a competent caregiver to my sons.”
“With my first son, who is now 20 months old, we faced various challenges starting with conception. We had three miscarriages until we learned I had MTHFR and hypothyroidism. With the competent and assertive help of a fertility clinic, we conceived our first son, Martin. We didn’t need IVF, but minor tweaks to get us there. After almost three years of trying to have a child, we had a healthy viable pregnancy to bring that very desired baby to our arms.”
“I’m sharing all this background to bring perspective of how wanted this child was. After conception, the effort for a healthy pregnancy and natural delivery came: yoga, meditation, walks, massage, and physical therapy. I was in top shape. Next on the list were natural delivery classes (all 3 months of it) with my husband and hiring a doula.”
“Week 39 came: nothing. My OB and perinatologist suggested to induce. We said no go; we want a natural delivery. Week 40 came: nothing, still waiting. Again, My OB and perinatologist suggested to induce. We said no go; we want a natural delivery. Week 41 came: NOTHING. This time we had a big warning that my ammonitic fluid was extremely low and that I had to induce. Against all doctors’ advice we decided to wait.”
“I went for more walks and acupuncture and finally after 41 weeks and 3 days I had contractions! I had more contractions for 12, 24, 40 hours. Despite being mentally strong and focused, during all those hours, my mind and body were just too tired to keep on going and waiting. Our doula kept coming in and out of the house to run her family chores, and not fully being there.”
“After 40 hours and not progressing, we went to the hospital to get epidural to get rest. All was fine when we arrived to the hospital, I was getting hydrated and ready for the epidural when all the sudden the baby’s heart beat started plummeting. My husband has a strong biology and medical background and I could see his face getting very serious, just like my cheery OB’s face, who luckily was on call that day.”
“Before I knew it, I was in the operating room without my husband going fully asleep for an emergency C-section. The baby had meconium aspiration during the labor or delivery. When I woke up from the surgery, my husband told me that baby was in NICU in critical condition. After two long days, we learned Martin was going to make and it all was going to be behind us. After eleven longs days, we all went home and became a family.”
“At eight weeks postpartum, I wasn’t capable of sleeping. My heartbeat accelerated and I had insatiable hunger that didn’t let me sleep; I was also crying for no reason and I wasn’t my cheery self. With the doctor’s help, I learned my hypothyroidism was a condition I only occurred during pregnancy and that with taking hormones I had caused hyperthyroidism, speeding my metabolism.”
“It all took weeks and lots of frustration, exhaustion and concern from my entire family. Looking back, I can see that my symptoms could have been a combination of hormone imbalance and birth trauma. Those long 40 hours of labor and NICU were very hard on me and our son. Luckily both of us are fine now.”
“With the arrival of our second son, we took a more pragmatic approach. If I could do VBAC, I was going to try, but not being stubborn about it. However, every time I thought of the possibility of a C-section, I was crying uncontrollably and extremely scared of that possibility, which is not my personality. I am assertive and brave. That is when I realized there was something off with me that I had not faced because I had been on task mode all that time.”
“With the help of a therapist, I worked out my unresolved feelings. I found myself better prepared when the doctors at 36 weeks said that my placenta wasn’t working properly and little Benjamin had to come out! So, he did; we had a surprised early planned C-section, and now have two under two. This time we skipped NICU.”
“My mother nurtured me and my first son. Without the help of a strong support network of Sol yoga, and Alicia Barmon, my therapist, I could not have found the mental peace I needed to take care of myself, my first son and deliver my second son. Finally, thank you to my doctors, whom were there for me with assertive decisions and support.”
Casey shared: “This was my second baby besides being induced last time. I had a great labor with only a third-degree tear. So, this time I kind of expected similar. My waters broke on the 31st of December at about 2am when I was 41 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I thought nothing of it and just waited for contractions all day.”
“I was leaking and finally around 2pm I went to the hospital just to get looked at. They put me on the monitor and everything was fine. They said to come back in if contractions got closer; otherwise, come in at 7:30am the next day as I was booked for induction.”
“My partner had been out so I just went into the hospital the next morning with my step mum. They hooked me up to the monitor and had a doctor come in and examine me. I was about 4cm dilated and they had to break the waters a little more. As soon as they did that, I started getting intense contractions and my baby’s heart rate was dropping to about 50. The nurse told me she needed to press the emergency button and that lots of doctors and nurses would come in.”
“They all came in and got me to move positions and he was okay, but then once they left the contractions started coming every 2 minutes and his heart rate kept dropping again. He just didn't seem to be recovering, so she pressed the button again and explained they were calling a code green emergency C-section.”
“I was so scared my partner wasn’t there, and in that moment, I felt like I’d failed, but I knew it had to be done. They took me down to the theater and prepared me for what was happening. They said no one could be in there with me because I needed to be put to sleep. I remember waking up and my partner was next to me but no baby and not really knowing what had happened. I didn’t get to see him for nearly 10 hours after and when I did I was numb. I couldn’t hold him or touch him as he was in special care nursery.”
“The doctor came and talked to me and told me that they had to do resuscitate him, but he was okay and just needed oxygen to help him. We were lucky we didn’t wait any longer to go in as we may have lost him. We still don’t know what caused his heart rate to drop but after 10 days in the hospital he is home and doing amazing.”
“I still struggle on a daily basis thinking about it all and having bad dreams and certain things trigger memories. It’s been 4 months now and my anxiety is still extreme but the nightmares are still there. Please, if you’re not coping, see someone or ask for help. It was the best thing I did. I’m slowly getting in control again, but it’s something that will take time.”
Erin shared: “I suffered at the hospital, and will now have to undergo corrective surgeries thanks to that place. They left a piece of my placenta inside me and I could have died. Don't ever go here; you will regret it. I was traumatized and so was my son. They claim to be baby -friendly but they are not. The doctor put my son on a sugar IV straight away because they didn't allow me to be able to breastfeed him. We were not allowed kangaroo care, breastfeeding or delayed cord clamping/cutting.”
“The doctor grabbed what was left of my umbilical cord and ripped my placenta from my body. I had bruises where nurses literally slammed needles full of pain killers into me over and over again after I was screaming because the doctor did not wait for the pain killers to take before beginning the stitches.”
“The entire experience has left me terrified to ever have another child and I wish that doctor would lose her license. I was pushed around, insulted, and threatened. My son spent unnecessary time in the NICU and the nurses snuck behind my back giving him formula without my permission after me saying no over and over again.”
“I gave birth to a healthy and normal child after a very easy and no-risk pregnancy while my husband was in basic training and was treated like trash because they thought I was a single mother. My experience is that of nightmares and I may never have another child thanks to everything I suffered in their hands.”
Ashlee Jo shared: “My doctor claimed to be natural- friendly. Then, when I was 38 weeks pregnant, she started pressuring me for an induction. Her reasoning was "everyone" with gestational diabetes was treated that way. I was incredulous at a risky procedure being pushed on me when it was not based on my medical needs."
“The day before, I was prepared to refuse the induction. My labor began naturally. I thought the battle would be avoided. It wasn't. Two hours into labor she was trying to get me to consent to Pitocin. I spent almost all of my 11-hour labor fighting against it and endured intimidation, manipulation and verbal abuse from my doctor.”
“As a result, I was emotionally numb to my daughter for weeks. I suffer with disabling PTSD which prevents me from seeking medical care and turned my entire second pregnancy into a nightmare.”
Alison shared: “My hospital experience and the birth of my child was overshadowed by a lack of bodily autonomy and disregard of my desires and opinions, along with those of my husband and our doula. Aside from the fetal monitoring, not being allowed to eat, and more, the worst part of my experience was the physician.”
“The attending physician that we were assigned due to the on-call policy of the hospital and practices, was not the physician that I had been seeing throughout my entire pregnancy. I had never met him at all in the past. He wanted to break my water at 4cm dilated, while stating I was at 6cm and gave us a difficult time when I refused. When we agreed to break my water, he had a resident perform the procedure and did not come back into the room until I was 10cm dilated.”
“After pushing for over an hour, he came in to check on the pushing and progress, came to the conclusion that I was not pushing properly and stated he had already delivered nine babies that day with the insinuation that I was wasting his time. At that point, I was too exhausted and distraught by his presence that we asked the RN to find another attending physician.”
“The other physician followed up almost immediately and within a few minutes of performing her own assessment, determined that my baby was face up and not even in the correct position and I would not have been able to push her out laying on my back. Eventually, I had a C-section, performed by the requested attending physician and then spent the time until discharge terrified that the original physician would make a round at some point.”