13 December 2006

Listening to Mothers

Perhaps it comes as no surprise that American women are experiencing unwanted medical interventions in childbirth. I remember interviewing my mother for an undergraduate women's studies subject about her pregnancy/birth experience. Mum gave birth to me in 1980 in a private hospital with an obstetrician at quite possible the height of medicalised birth in America. She told me that not only was she given an episiotomy without her permission, her obstetrician also yanked me out with forceps because he couldn't be bothered to let me take my time down the birth canal! And let's be honest, he wanted to go home (it was 10pm). That was 26 years ago; it's a terrible realisation that women are still undergoing interventions in birth without their consent.

Here is a nice piece from the Boston Globe reporting on The Listening to Mothers II report by Childbirth Connection , a New York group founded in 1918 to improve maternity care:

For expectant women, it's not too much to ask
By Tina Cassidy December 8, 2006

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