MJ's Story - Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

August 2016 - When I was giving birth to our first child, while I was in labor and receiving cervical checks for dilation I attempted to keep the blanket over myself for modesty purposes. One of the nurses on told me that while pushing we wont be able to keep the blanket there as the doctor will need to be able to see, to which I said "I know". She then unnecessarily followed it with, "If you wanted to be modest you probably should have kept your legs closed".

Once our healthy baby boy was here and I was brought up to the maternity ward, the nurses on staff proceeded to be very rude to my boyfriend, his father. The nurse assigned to me refused to allow him to help me bathe him, stating, "She needs to learn how to bathe HER baby!" Even though the baby was just as much his as he was mine. When he left the unit at one point I had a nurse come in and ask me if he was even the actual father of our son. We were young, only 19. We hadn't been together long, and my boyfriend is Indigenous. Due to them pushing him away in the hospital my boyfriend had a hard time bonding with our son. He was nervous and reluctant to help at bath times as he did not know, and he felt very robbed of those crucial first hours. Looking back on it I feel angry. It was horrible to act towards him, and in a world where young fathers take off all the time the nurses should be encouraging the ones who are around to stay around, not mistreating them and pushing them away.

I didn't feel comfortable providing feedback. I was nervous to communicate with the nurses while my boyfriend was around because I was worried they would be rude to him. I did not speak up about his treatment because I figured I wouldn’t be believed.

Submitted by MJ