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  5. Lack of recognised rights in childbirth

Lack of recognised rights in childbirth Lock Rss

Windwill I know what you're saying. I am not in any way denying there are some patients (not just women during labor) who are not treated with the kind of care they should be. I wasn't suggesting that everyone who has a gripe about their birth was hung up on a birth plan, I was just saying there are many factors involved and a lot of the time the care provided was appropriate and necessary and perhaps what the woman is feeling is grief, disappointment or confusion about what happened. The topic of "informed consent" and "communication" for a laboring woman is an interesting one as both of these things cannot really be achieved when somebody is in extreme pain and distress and often medicated - I think most of the time genuine attempts are made to include, explain and respect the rights and privacy of a woman in labor but these attempts may be overshadowed by high emotion and often drama when things are going wrong and so this leads to that "out of control" feeling that women who have troublesome births often describe. It is not always the fault of the doctor or the midwife and it is not always medical mismanagement (of course sometimes it is...) This is why I feel that firstly women should be educated where possible prior to the birth of common interventions and reasons for these and then after a difficult birth should be offered debriefing soon after and again offered counseling weeks or months later - so they can understand what happened and have the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns. All I'm really getting at is that when people tell you what happened during their birth and express dissatisfaction with the experience, you cannot immediately point the finger at the care providers as having done something wrong, nor can you blame the woman for what happened or for being upset - it is often a combination of factors that lead to a bad experience, but it doesn't always mean that errors have been made or that a woman's wishes were ignored or disrespected, if that makes sense?

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I agree with Skubala completely. I remember being disappointed and dissatisfied with my first birth experience. I felt quite empty about it all. But then my second birth experience did not have a positive ending and my baby passed away. This put things into perspective, my first birth was not all I had wanted, but the outcome was a healthy child. My last birth was the same as my first almost exactly. I even gave birth in the same birth suite! But I realised that the outcome was the important thing. That I perhaps had an unrealistic expectation if what I expected it to be anyway.

Certainly women's wishes in birth should be respected, but only within the realms if what is practically possible within the working environment. Throwing more money or staff can't be an answer. We have a very successful live birth rate in this country. And I can't agree in allocating more money to the system at the detriment of other health services. Our aged care system is diabolical, as is our mental health system, and saving lives in critical health management needs to be the priority.

I think education is also key, I know in my pre natal class many women didn't want to know about interventions as they didn't want one. But if it was required in an emergency, they wouldn't have known what was happening, which would be very frightening. I had vaginal deliveries, but I wasn't afraid of the thought of a c-section, although obviously I didn't want one, because I educated myself about the process.

I guess I have been touched by the unimaginable scenario of having to deliver a baby knowing the outcome would be fatal for my child. Delivering a baby live baby has to be the first and only real non negotiable desire. The rest should really be a bonus.

Some really good points Clax

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Yes, it is nice to see a huggies discussion such as this not turn into a slag match. It's refreshing and made me much more willing to participate

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I guess this is why doulas are so popular now. It is very disappointing that women aren't heard during birth and the tactics used to bully them into a particular procedure seem to be accepted because at the end of it all theres the inevitable "oh, at least you got a healthy baby" , like a healthy baby makes it ok that a person was bullied or denied basic rights to have a say over their own body and what procedures are carried out.
Clax you make a great point!
I was one of those in my ante natal class that pretty much paid no attentionto anything that wasn't natural birth the they way i wanted.
But I ended up being induced and was not well informed at all.
I definitely didn't get the birth I wanted, but that was a pain free natural one pahahaha!

Sorry Skubala, I didn't mean you. Should have clarified, I was referring to a general attitude.

I tend to find younger people are not necessarily like that at all, I think it is a pervasive attitude that seeps into all areas of health care, from days gone by. (Like a lot of things in Australia really).

The idea that healthy baby is the only important thing - well, potentially it is the MOST important thing, but that does not diminish the importance of other things if you get me? Certainly, that is very important, but other things are also important. We don't discount things just because they are not the number one most important thing we can think of for any given issue or question.

That's true Windwill, you get the good and the bad eggs in every profession. Although I wouldn't say it's a generational thing - some of the older nurses and midwives place huge value on bedside manner. Just the same, some are bitter and old school and need to think about retirement...

Of course the experience of the woman is important and a woman who is confident in her care givers and is feeling in control is probably going to birth better anyway. Bad births can also lead to a lot of issues with breastfeeding and bonding, so I think it is a priority to make sure it is as positive as possible. As I'd said in earlier comments though, I think a lot of women have birth plans that are unachievable and often they put their heads in the sand regarding interventions - so when it all goes pear shaped they are neither ready nor willing to accept that birth is unpredictable.

I also wonder if our perceptions of a "good" birth are a bit messed up. I personally love hearing stories where mothers have had a c section or intervention or something has gone a bit wonky and they can still look back and have positive memories, but it seems this is rare and if women don't get a short, intervention and medication free birth, they get disappointed.

I guess it's a double edged sword - women need to have realistic expectations and prepare themselves with knowledge, care givers need to do their best to avoid intervention and if that is not possible, empower the woman by giving her as much control as is possible and giving her the support she needs during and after the birth to accept what has happened. It really needs to be a partnership with both working together for the same outcome

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Skubala - so, do you think that a birth with intervention is what determines whether women are upset?

Where I am coming from is mainly women who feel disrespected, rather than women who feel disappointed.

I have had 4 births, and the one that I was disrespected in and am upset about was the one without any physical interventions (except breaking waters at my request). My other 3 births were inductions due to IUGR and I felt basically fine about those (even the one that was a planned homebirth). Maybe I just haven't spoken to enough people, but in my experience intervention itself is not the issue.
No, intervention isn't the only issue - just that it is one that seems to crop up a lot of the time. But of course, even a normal, straight forward birth can be tarnished by care givers who are not respectful. I know one of my friends had a drug free normal delivery but she is still upset by a midwife who told her she was being silly for crying and that women give birth everyday... so I certainly agree that doctors and midwives are not perfect and sometimes say and do downright stupid and disrespectful things

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