Midwives

L.G.O.'s Story - Guelph General Hospital, Guelph, Ontario

“I was very anxious that I couldn't get much milk out. I needed to feed my baby and I really wanted to do it naturally. The lactation consultant must have said something to my midwife because that evening my midwife came in and said she wanted me monitored, and that she was going to send staff in every 3 hrs to make sure I was actually going to feed him and ***THAT SHE THOUGHT I HAD BEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED AS A CHILD*** based on when they were wheeling me into the OR she thought I was sucking my thumb (I was biting my first as the contractions were strong). She thought that was regressive behaviour that showed this. Seeing as I was being monitored as though I was an unfit mom, still raw from the surprise c-section, and awoken every 3 hrs anyway - I could not sleep. I know statistically that sexual abuse happens primarily among family members and all I could think, as thoughts raced through my mind instead of sleeping, was who had possibly sexually abused me? That was what my child's birth story became. I was raw with exhaustion, wired with this shocking piece of information, still very afraid and alone in terms of figuring out how to breastfeed my baby.”

”Words have huge impact around these completely life changing moments like childbirth. I would like the midwifery profession to know the extent of pain that this caused.”

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T's Story - Peace Arch Hospital, White Rock, British Columbia

"I cannot rationalize the way I was treated, and as a health care provider myself it just erodes me to know this goes on day in and day out.

I had a sexual abuse history, but I find it absolutely absurd that you have to share that with people, just to get treated with more empathetic care in Obstetrics. All women should be assumed to have a trauma history given the statistics. And all women should be treated with empathy and compassion regardless of their abuse history. Also sorry, not sorry, not going to share that with someone just because you’re a health care provider, it's called building a therapeutic relationship. If you are asking me whether I've been sexually abused as a checklist, just like when my last menstrual period was, you probably aren't going to get an honest answer. I have been through significant gynaecological issues prior to childbirth and never felt traumatized by any procedure, despite my abuse history.”

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T's Story - Kingston General Hospital, Kingston

"I found a new doctor and she delivered babies as well. I am so thankful...she was SO incredible. I literally laughed through my whole labour and delivery. The experience was so great. I am also so mad though for my past experiences. It never had to be the way it was.

I know my story isn't as bad as others but my first labour and delivery almost kept me from having another child. It was very traumatizing to me! I still have a hard time talking about my midwife experience... I usually cry. It was so awful." 

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C's Story - London Health Sciences Centre, London

"Once my incision was closed the OB screamed at me!!!!!! "Don't you know what could have happened, I don't ever want to see you in this hospital again!"

I am not afraid of confrontation at all and had I not just delivered a baby after 36 hours of labour, I would have yelled back. He made me feel like I left the life of my baby to chance without a care about her well being."

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M's Story - Sudbury Memorial Hospital, Sudbury

"It's been nearly nine years since the birth of my daughter, and although I've moved on from the birth experience I had, listening to the traumatic birth stories of others has made me want to share my own. I really hope that doctors and hospitals end up reading these stories to improve the care that they give to women giving birth in the future."

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Jolinda's Story - Woodstock General Hospital, Woodstock

"I want people to know I'm sure to the midwives and everyone else this just looked like a run-of-the-mill birth. It wasn't long or complicated and both I and my baby were physical healthy, but it's what's on the inside that matters. I hope women reading this can learn from all these experiences and find the courage to say no to disrespectful care providers."

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