Toronto

A's Story - Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto, Ontario

“In the zombie state I was in, the anesthesiologist was the most compassionate person. The fellow announced I was at 10 cm and needed to push. I have no idea how not too long ago, I was barely dilated and now suddenly ready to push. The nurse told me I couldn't have my husband hold my leg. She told me I had to do it myself even though I could barely feel them due to the anesthesia and my state of mind.”

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Margaux's Story - Flashbacks to South Africa, 1985

“I allowed the medical students and midwifery students to watch my birth - they were respectful and asked permission. I felt it was important for them to witness an active birth with respectful attendants. I also had a birth plan, so when the bossy nurse in charge of the Labour and Delivery unit popped her head in and started telling me to be quiet and breathe properly when I was grunting through intense contractions, she was politely asked to leave by my OB/Gyn who told her this was the way I wanted to do it.”

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Twin Mom's Story - Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario

“After a few more attempts of pushing, it didn't seem as though she was coming down. Without warning, explanation or CONSENT he had BOTH hands in me "assisting" Twin B. I freaked out! Begging him to stop, I asked what he was doing, telling him to stop and that it was hurting so bad (I didn't get a top up, I had no epidural so I felt EVERYTHING) He was ripping me down, he used forceps and the suction twice. I only know this because I heard him say it. At one point I just physically broke. The doctor was literally yanking at what felt like my lifeless body on that table. My husband continued asking what the issue was and what was happening where he was met with silence.”

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Remain Calm - St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario

Remain Calm - St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario

“Modern obstetrics is rife with condescension, medical paternalism, and misogyny. Sometimes it's subtle, and sometimes it's not. Take these examples pulled directly from the website of a well-regarded downtown teaching hospital in Toronto, Ontario:

’Remaining in control of yourself and your fear is the one major way for you to help your labour along. Let the doctors worry about any abnormalities and, if none have so far been discussed with you, rely on their care for you and your baby. You are there to breathe and cope and push the baby out when the time comes.’”

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R's Story - Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario

“I was told I had to hold my baby in my arms all night after not sleeping for 48 hours as she had a lot of mucous. I told the nurse I wasn’t comfortable with it fearing I’d fall asleep and she’d roll into the blankets and potentially suffocate. I was told I didn’t have an option. They propped me up with pillows and laid her in my arms for the night. Fast forward over a year later, I was still waking up almost every night frantically checking the blankets for my daughter (who had never slept in our bed). I even had a night where I begged my husband to check the bed to make sure she wasn’t there even though she was in my arms”

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