U.S. Women Are Being Mistreated While In Labor

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New Survey Shows Women Deserve Better Treatment While in Labor 

After the review of a recent survey of American women, Giving Voice to Mothers (GVtM), conducted by both clinicians and researchers using World Health Organization frameworks, it is now known that one out of six women surveyed reported being mistreated while in labor.

Examples of their mistreatment included:

  • loss of autonomy (the capacity to decide for oneself, be respected)
  • being shouted at, scolded, or threatened
  • being ignored, refused, or receiving no response to requests for help in a reasonable amount of time
  • violation of physical privacy
  • health care providers threatening to withhold treatment or forcing them to accept treatment they did not want

Being shouted at or scolded by a health care provider was the most commonly reported type of mistreatment. Some women reported physical abuse during labor and delivery and sharing of their personal information without consent.

The survey results and research feedback was published in the Reproductive Health journal in April of 2019. The only previous national study of this kind in the U.S. was done in 2014 and limited to women who planned hospital births and did not measure mistreatment.

Young Women, Black Women, Poor Women Mistreated Most Often

According to recent data from the CDC, 700 mothers a year die from childbirth complications in the U.S., while another 50,000 are injured. Black mothers are dying at a rate 3-4 times higher than white or Hispanic women and are twice as likely to have a severe complication.

The researchers of this survey also concluded that “mistreatment is experienced more frequently by women of color, when birth occurs in hospitals, and among those with social, economic or health challenges.”

When women are not being heard before, during, and after delivery, avoidable mistakes will be made by healthcare professionals that put both mother and baby at risk of injury, death or a lifelong trauma. Mistreatment during labor may cause unnecessary stressors and interventions that are harmful to both mother and baby. Nearly 50 percent of pregnancy-related deaths today will be caused by:

  • hemorrhage
  • cardiovascular and coronary conditions
  • cardiomyopathy
  • infection

Complications linked to surgical deliveries, cesareans and inductions are also among the most significant contributing factors.

Levin & Perconti Works For Your Family 

If you are a mother or loved one of a woman who experienced labor complications and believe a medical professional was at fault, contact the birth injury attorneys of Chicago’s Levin & Perconti. Our attorneys have stood beside mothers and bereaved loved ones who have had to suffer needlessly due to a provider’s neglect. We have fought and won cases against major medical groups, and our results show our commitment to achieving the best outcome for you and your family.

Please, contact us by phone (312) 332-2872 or by filling out our online case evaluation form to find out how we can help.

Also read: Hospitals Blame Mothers When Things Go Wrong

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