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Lack of recognised rights in childbirth Lock Rss

I like how the NZ ladies can go choose their own midwife and it's all funded. They can select the right midwife for them which establishes a good ongoing relationship. That midwife is then on the same page as the woman and knows everything about her pregnancy and her wishes regarding the birth. This midwife can be a support and an advocate for the women during the birth.

Jess_7 wrote:
She got her baby which is the most important thing. But I think she should have got the epi too.

I think thats actually a pretty poor example tbh. I totally agree with what you're saying on a base level, but the reasons she didn't get her epi revolved around safety for her and other patients - they were too short staffed to adequately perform and monitor another - and so in this case, it was unavoidable she missed out. It wasn't an intervention that was going to endanger mum and bub by not having it, and no-one is bullying anyone not to have one in this instance, or refusing to do one because they believe the patient should be treated differently - they could not actually do one. It is unfortunate for that lady, but no amount of "birthing rights" would be able to alter that outcome.
That's the public system though. If you go private you would be able to avoid those situations I would assume. It's all about dollars.

I agree with you to an extent but I also disagree with you...

Somewhere along the line we all got a bit too focused on the "experience" of birth and along with it got some crazy ideas about how it should or would pan out. Birth plans are great, but they are just plans and plans change and it isn't always as black and white as "baby in danger" - sometimes interventions are done or birth plans are ignored because the baby isn't in immediate danger, but needs to be watched closely and this can be confusing for a laboring woman. Sometimes the requests are not reasonable for the situation - i.e. a woman may want dimmed lights, but if she's also chosen an epidural or is on monitoring, the lights may need to be turned up so the staff can work safely.

I think women often look back on their birth experience and feel upset because it just wasn't what they expected. You often hear first time mums say they want a "calm" birth, drug free etc etc. But then when you get down to it, birth is messy and painful and it might be going along completely without a hitch, but it's not necessarily the "calm" experience you were hoping for. In terms of interventions, sometimes these are done hastily and could have been avoided, but I think people get in their heads that doctors are impatient and want to intervene for the hell of it, but this is not the case for the majority, but it's hard to explain an intervention and allow a woman to feel a sense of control when she's exhausted, hormonal and in a whole lot of pain, so upon reflection it may feel to her like she was coerced or not given a choice.

I'm not denying that things happen that shouldn't and I'm not minimizing the importance of a woman feeling in control and trusting of her care providers, what I am saying however is that our society seems to have developed a warped sense of how birth should be and it can lead to disappointment. And when intervention does happen, I do think there is not enough counseling and support for women to digest and understand what happened.

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I think sometimes sometimes their "bullying" can be them trying to help IFYKWIM. With my first, I had to be induced because I was not continuing to dilate. The midwives sent me home twice. The second time was after I had been in labour for nearly 48 hours. My contraction were 1-3 minutes apart and were very painful. The midwives didn't let me see a Dr because they like an intervention free birth and knew a Dr would do something. After I had been in labour for 60 hours, I went back and demanded to see a Dr. I had gone into labour in the evening so I had not slept in over 70 hours and I was dead on my feet. When the Dr came in, the first thing he said was that I was having a baby that day, one way or another. I could have kissed him! After I had been on the drip for a couple of hours, I begged one of the midwives for an epidural. She said no and insisted I give the gas a try. I had assumed it wouldn't work as my mum and sisters hated it. I loved it. I could still feel every contraction but it distracted me from them and to be honest, led to some funny moments tongue after I had DD, I found out that they had a surgeon on standby as they had assumed I would have been too tired to push. The Drs were annoyed the midwives hadn't let me see them, as was I, but I was grateful they insisted on the gas instead of an epidural. I know I'm rambling, but what I'm trying to say is I guess it's people's perception to whether it's bullying or not. I though at the time they were being extremely hard not allowing me an epidural but at the end I was happy they hadn't. And while I think I should've been allowed to see a Dr earlier, I still got my birth plan. I hope what I'm trying to say is coming across :S
The staffing issue is a major thing! If only it were simple enough to just call in another staff member but budget constraints and politics make this virtually impossible. It's really unfair and shouldn't happen... but the people to blame for this are not those working in the hospital, that is a government issue and sadly, they are never going to give a flying f*** if their stingy budget means a woman can't have an epidural if she wants one. Not saying it's right, just that's how it is

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Kittkatt wrote:
Skubala wrote:
The staffing issue is a major thing! If only it were simple enough to just call in another staff member but budget constraints and politics make this virtually impossible. It's really unfair and shouldn't happen... but the people to blame for this are not those working in the hospital, that is a government issue and sadly, they are never going to give a flying f*** if their stingy budget means a woman can't have an epidural if she wants one. Not saying it's right, just that's how it is

completely agree. As well as budget and politics coming into play the reality is there aren't always people to call in either. You would think there would always be nurses around willing to work, but due to casual work dropping, some just refuse to drop everything to come to work as they feel they aren't important or valued so they don't really care about going to work. Obviously this isn't the case with all casual employees but I know several who get asked to do shifts, they agree then they get cancelled an hour before their shift, only to find out someone else got called in an hour later.
Unfortunately babies dont come on the due date, so rostering is also an issue, some shifts there will seem too many nurses, the next (and majority) not enough.

Yes, if you go private there are likely a lot more options and women have a lot more power over their deliveries because they have specific support staff, but If you go public unfortunately these are the things we have to deal with.

Skubala - are you a nurse?

Lol yes, what gave me away! I'm a NICU nurse - so I don't deliver the babies but I understand the nature of this particular area of healthcare and how unpredictable and dynamic it can be

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Jess_7 wrote:
Thanks so much everone for your feedback. Keep it coming. I promise to repost in the morning if my tired brain does not get this right.

I have several family members that were ill informed about what happend during their children's birth or simply not cared for.
The first had a baby in breech and was told by her ob the child would be disabled if she had a vaginal birth in a way that terrified her. She believed him and althought she hated the idea of a csection but agreed as not to harm her baby. She went into labour early and asked the person in the ambulance if the hospital would be ready for the surgery when they got there and was told, accurately, that the baby would be there before they made it to the hospital. Baby spent a few in the humidicrib but that was due to her being prem. Had minor phisio but no long term effects from birth. My opinion on the is the dr was most likely not skilled in breech birth and was not upfront about the options.
The second was released 2 days after having her bub. She could not walk as far as the toilet. Another family member ended up looking after bub while hubby took her back to hospital the next day after she collapsed. I guess they really needed the bed?
The 3rd had a bub who was not growing in the womb as well as expected and was told they had to deliver early. It turns out everything was fine just a small bub but they couldn't have known that and better to be safe. My issue is that they really didn't fully inform her on the induction process and the probability of csection. Which it did end with.

I'm not saying all hospital people are bad in fact most of them are brilliant it's just the few that make the rest look bad. But when these things are happening to so many people there is something wrong with our system. Whether its time or money or lack of staff or staff having differnt ideals or something else. I dont know. I just think it needs fixing.

It's hard because each of these scenarios could be seen in a different way. The breech baby - it sounds as though she was informed of the risks of a breech birth and rightly so! Breech births can go horribly wrong and usually a c section is safer, but that said, babies can be born breech and be ok, as happened in this scenario. It's not always down to the skill level of the health provider either.

The second, sounds like that was poor management. If she couldn't walk, she shouldn't have been discharged regardless of bed requirements

The third, you can't say the baby was fine and shouldn't have been delivered early - sometimes they are growth restricted in utero and there is good reason to deliver them, otherwise you may have a dead baby.

I guess I'm just encouraging you to look at things objectively - because when a woman tells you her birth experience, it is always emotive and based on her putting together the jigsaw puzzle of what is often a confusing and exhausting time. There definitely are things that need improving in our healthcare system. I am currently in hospital and there have been bad decisions made and I have encountered staff who have not been respectful of my needs and wishes and this has happened despite the fact that I have knowledge and the ability to be assertive - so I can see how some women are ill informed and suffer unnecessary or inappropriate intervention. I can see it from both sides of the coin!

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Haha takes a nurse to know another crazy nurse eh tongue

Sometimes when I read these posts (no disrespect to the OP) I can't help but having the same thoughts as you, questioning how much is "fact" and how much is "perceived fact" and what else hasn't been revealed. Even with my background, I look back on my first birth and can never quite put it all together and decide how much of it was just because that's how things panned out and how much was due to medical mismanagement.

I must say after having spent a month in hospital for this pregnancy, I have definitely come to appreciate the perspective of the patient, but with the exception of one or two doctors initially who I hammered with questions and openly told them I disagreed and was not happy with their care, I have been satisfied with the care given and feel I can trust the staff - although don't always think it has been well communicated. I can understand how another patient in the same scenario could be left feeling quite helpless, even though the care had been appropriate

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OP if you've read the last few comments between myself and kittkatt, I think the issue is more often that not, not so much about the actual interventions during the birth, more the education and preparation prior to the birth (when it can be anticipated) and the debriefing afterwards

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I had terrible pregnancy and birth support with my first 3 children.

I find that with discussing this issue, people are so quick to assume women are over reacting, or "angry" because they didn't get the "dream birth" everyone assumes they wanted or something. Health workers seem to believe very strongly that women are unrealistically hung up on birth plans; I don't think it is true.

It isn't hard to afford women basic rights to explain what is happening, listen to and consider their requests or questions, and speak to them later to explain anything left unsolved. People should be trying harder to be kind, on top of their normal job. Kindness and respect is something everyone deserves, and there is a big difference between making a hard choice in a quick moment, and not bothering to explain something or not thinking you should have to explain.

Where I live, if you are in the public system you tend to get poor treatment, little respect, and you also tend to not be taken seriously if you try to complain. Although, I suppose all of that could have been because I was a young mum. I know I am not the only one in my area to have experienced this though.

In my experience, when women are upset and emotive, it is because they didn't feel respected, not because they don't understand what happened. People seem to assume that they have the right to guess why people are upset.

Skubala - I guess I would take the perspective that, if someone feels helpless, this is a communication issue and a person's right (which is recognised Australia-wide to my knowledge) to be informed is not being met, hence that cannot necessarily be reasonably described as "adequate care". Like, that should be part of 'care' if you get me?
I have heard some pretty bad stories from people I know. I chose to go private, yes I paid for it and no we aren't rich but I wanted to know I could make choices about my care which I know others who weren't able to ib the public system.
I had my obstetrician there who knew me well because I had every antenatal appointment with him. He was in control and told the midwives exactly what I wanted and it was great. I had an induction ddue to waters breaking early but he gave me a good chance to go natural and made sure bubs was monitored. IMO you can't put a price on these things.
I know some women have had great experiences in public but everyone I know in my area had a terrible time, the hospitals near me are pretty bad and most women were left to push for way too long (one up to 6 hours) jhst to avoid a c section. My ob said that was ridiculous and risky! I think there is definitely room for improvement in our public system.

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