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Has this happened to anyone here?

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
On a yahoo group I amon for childbirth educators and doulas we have been talking about interventions. People have brought up some pretty scary stuff, that as a nurse I have yet to witness (not saying that it doesn't happen), so to me it seems so alien... but not just not being given a choice in some interventions but actually being held down for things like an IV, monitoring and getting a cath. Not to mention having an episiotomy or forceps. I have worked at two hospitals were I floated to L&D and I was present for births and NEVER saw a woman held down while she screamed "no" to some procedure (like an IV or a cath). I know that they use scare tactics (which I am completely against) to get women to agree to certian things and I know they don't tell the women everything (like when they will do an episiotomy or put in a foley after the woman has an epideral). I am not saying I am ok with any of that (that is why I have my kids at home.)
But I am wondering how common it is to be held down (in this day and age. I know they use to tie a woman's hands up when she was in labor) and have things forced on her.

H
post #2 of 53
yikes! i'm hoping you don't get too many "yes" answers here
post #3 of 53
I was a L&D nurse, then a CNM, all for a total of 10 years. I never held anyone down for an IV, nor did I ever see anyone held down. I did see a lot of coercion and incomplete truths told, but I never saw physical force used to make anyone do anything.
post #4 of 53
Nothing like IVs, but I've seen/been present with NON emergent c sections, forceps, and vacuum deliveries being done with inadequate anesthesia.

I don't miss those days.
post #5 of 53
I was hugely involved in ICAN last pregnancy, and while it was rare, they DID have some documented cases of women being given cesareans completely against their will.

There is also a legal women's rights group with a branch in SC, where a mom was suspected of being "on drugs" when she went into the hospital in labor, and because of that suspicion, they automatically took away all of her rights to decide how she was going to be treated. Here's a link to one of their articles.

http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org...ave_rights.php

This group is incredible and has successfully stopped more than one law against pregnant women from going on the books. (just a warning, they are also pro-choice so if that bothers you, dont read on )
post #6 of 53
I have read a few birth stories where woman where transfered from a home birth to a hospital and they were 'birth raped'. You might want to try posting in the UC and Home birth forums to get a wide variety of responses. =)
post #7 of 53
yes , depends on how urgent a situation is-- shoulder dystocia
shoulder dystocia that a zavenelli manouver was used- c-secion no drugs on board for mom---
section for second twin
many many fundal pressure incidences

mom most recently giving birth in the bathroom baby crowning basically cohersed into the other room- mom holding her self away from the bed with her hands asked to turn around then shoved onto the bed by her shoulders

doctor asking for a mom's hands to be held out of the way more than once one time a dad did the restraint other times nurses

for IVs I have seen them get very very impatient now just hold still, straighten up- then the arm is held down maybe someone else is there to help hold that arm down
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deaf mom who was hit in the head to get her attention --
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I have also been to a birth where the woman was screaming and she was screaming very loudly- the provider almost held her mouth shut- luckily the mom had her eyes closed so did not see- that the CNM litterally had her trembling hand inches away from forcing her mouth shut, I saw the struggle go through her mind and would have said stop it right now if she had went further.

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long ago when I had my first in the hospital they strapped me down- legs were actually strapped up I guess you could say-- I was completely unmedicated just what they did at the time--
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now there are usually more "passive" restraints like monitors, IVs and BP cuff- on both sides of the body- how do you move around with the trail?
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post #8 of 53
Read some birth stories and see how common it is. I support women recovering from birth trauma and I also see a lot of women who've just had fairly ordinary hospital births. At some point something almost always happens against the woman's will, against her expressed wishes, contrary to her very clear birth plan, you name it. What surprises me is how so many people think that's impossible!
post #9 of 53
As a midwife working in a large maternity hospital I've assisted at about 1000 births now. Never seen someone held down and had an IV, or catheter or monitor forced on them. I would imagine it would be impossible. I've cathetrized and inserted IVs hundreds of times - but without the womans cooperation, its not possible. Ditto monitoring - she would just take the monitor off if she didnt want it on.

However I have seen women pressured and coerced into such things. Ultimately though she has to cooperate in order for it to be carried out.
post #10 of 53
I've seen forced vaginal exams, dead baby scare tactics, and lies and coercion. And I only attended 4 hospital births before I said NO MORE.
post #11 of 53
Thread Starter 
No, I get the lying and scare tactics (I mean I don't GET IT... but I know it happens, which is so terrible sad and frusterating).

So to turn the thread a bit... what do you all think "we" can do to change this? I mean it seems like we as women (generalization here) have given up our power. We even tend to scare each other with birth horror stories (IE it was soooo painful, I couldn't do it. I labored for 72 hours straight. They said my baby would die if I had it at home...). I am not saying people should share their stories or if they had trama that they shouldn't talk about it to process, but it seems like 99% of stories are like that in the general public. Not many stories that are "good".
I want to also say, that I am not in anyway trying to down play anyones pain or trama, or experience, I would truly like to know what we can do to change how birth has become any ideas?

H
post #12 of 53
I had two hospital births...I was never forced to do anything.
post #13 of 53
I do what I can physically and tell the good stories I can, but as long as I continue to see trauma I cannot deny it either.
post #14 of 53
My mw held me down while she applied fundal "pressure" after I refused to accept Pitocin for 3rd stage management. I yelled "no" the whole time.
post #15 of 53
After I had my first baby I hemmhoraged quite badly. They were "applying fundal pressure" in the form of literally punching me in the stomach. I remember crying "Stop! Please stop!" but I was so weak from the traumatic birth that I couldn't fight back. It was horrible and probably the worst pain of my life.

Afterwards, they explained that it needed to be done and they couldn't stop to explain it to me, or to give pain meds. I would have hemmhoraged to death. It was a very out of control feeling though...more so than labour or birth...because it wasn't my own body doing this to me, it was two nurses I'd never seen.

Slightly different situation, I guess.
post #16 of 53
Thread Starter 
Even though you were in trouble it takes all of a second to explain something like that to someone, even while you are doing it. I am sorry that happened to you.
I usually worked ICU and ER and we would be up to our armpits in a mess and still have time to tell someone what was going on, AND they had every right to refuse treatment even if it meant they died... not that anyone wants to die giving birth, but it just takes a sec to explain.

H
post #17 of 53
Well...nothing like some of the things in this thread, and I have no problem telling medical personnel to get bent, so...nothing FORCED, per se...but I can relate some VERY insensative and utterly amazing comments by nurses and MDs. I won't repeat them here...if genuinly interested feel free to PM me.
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snork View Post
As a midwife working in a large maternity hospital I've assisted at about 1000 births now. Never seen someone held down and had an IV, or catheter or monitor forced on them. I would imagine it would be impossible. I've cathetrized and inserted IVs hundreds of times - but without the womans cooperation, its not possible. Ditto monitoring - she would just take the monitor off if she didnt want it on.

However I have seen women pressured and coerced into such things. Ultimately though she has to cooperate in order for it to be carried out.
Just because it hasn't happened in your career doesn't mean it's impossible. And as for the monitoring, if god forbid I end up transferring, I WILL take the monitor off this time. But I didn't the first time, even though I didn't want it. So it's not as simple as that. Some women are afraid of standing up for what is right. it took me an unnecessary csection to figure out that is not in my best interest to be the "polite little patient".
post #19 of 53
I had Pitocin put in an IV after I had specifically declined it.
post #20 of 53
I screamed and told a surgeon to get out of my body in a VE that hurt more than anything has ever hurt me in my life and she ignored me. Still have the PTSD from that rape and I doubt she even remembers my name.

What can we do about it? Well not much in the institutions, I feel, since consumers have little or no power in those places. All I do is try to support individual women, and help them remember to be consumers so the scare tactics and manipulation don't work on them so well. As a feminist, I see the way women's training to be passive and accepting of abuse and authority figures kicks in as soon as we're in the hospital. I did it myself! The second time I ended up in a hospital was after my baby was born however and nothing happened against my will that time. I was fierce and strong and no matter how many times staff whined to me about "hospital policy" I told them NO DEAL. I was lucky that I got staff who respected me that time because I didn't the first time no matter how many times I said no. There are so many places in women's lives where we're expected to just lie down and be Good Girls so why should birth be any different? Change our WHOLE lives and birth naturally changes.

On a side note, all those women having VEs, being cannulated, monitored etc may appear to be consenting on the outside, or at least not screaming NO but on the inside they often are. Now staff can't be mindreaders but women are also in a position where they know that they're scared, vulnerable, other people are in charge and all their rights were left outside in the carpark so they don't necessarily have the wherewithal to scream no at you when they need to. If staff operate with the rights and dignity of the woman uppermost at all times, with the power always resting with her, those who can spit out a no may be able so to do. A woman's voice, body language and other more subtle signs can also indicate how she's really feeling about the interventions. A bit of time and support and knowing the women we serve can help with that one too.
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