R E S P E C T – just a little bit can make a big difference

When I read One Starry Nights Birth birth story, my heart just broke for her.  It seemed like no one was listening to her.

At every hospital and at every turn they were just trying to force her into a repeat cesarean:

From the moment we arrived they tried to force me into a repeat c-section for no reason aside from the fact I had a c-section with my oldest. At this point I was dilated only 1cm if I recall properly. I had more than 4 nurses, 2 residents, and 2 on-call OB’s use scare tactics and threats on me. I demanded my AMA paperwork and signed myself out.

It just goes downhill from here, every  place she went she was harassed and treated with utter disrespect.

I posted a comment saying, “If only one person had stopped and treated you with respect and asked what you were feeling, instead of trying to force you into doing something (being authoritarian) you probably would have been able to follow your intuition and had a different birth experience with your DH by your side.

She commented back – If I had anyone during the entire pregnancy/birth treat me with respect, the entire outcome could have been different.

How is this possible that a woman can go through her entire pregnancy and birth and not be treated with respect?  What is wrong with a system that treats women as if they can’t make any choices for themselves? That they can’t be given information in a reasonable way and then let mom make her choice?  We need to make this change.

Birth Workers:  We need to LISTEN to moms.  They know something and have a gift that you don’t have.  INTUITION is more powerful than medical equipment.  Look at the mom, talk to her and listen!

My friends niece went to her OB a few times complaining of PTL and no one listened.  They monitored and sent her home, but her gut said, something isn’t right.  She called back but no one listened, until she started bleeding the next day and upon being checked was 4cm dilated and was only 23 weeks.  The happy ending to this story is after weeks of bedrest she went on to have her baby at 34 weeks.

Had her care providers listened to her sooner, she certainly would have felt more respected and maybe she would have gotten help sooner for her PTL and actually carried the baby longer.

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5 Comments on “R E S P E C T – just a little bit can make a big difference

  1. I normally feel my blood boiling at the mere mention of (what I feel is) injustice, but in this case I just feel sad. Poor mom, poor baby. Many things need to change in the maternity care system, but listening with respect, which sounds like a relatively simple change on the surface, is the single most important thing.


    I agree, it is a simple thing, but can make a HUGE difference in so many ways. How a mom feels about her birth all the way to saving lives!

  2. My mother called her doctor during her first pregnancy, concerned that she might be in labor at 24 weeks. She was pregnant with twins. He told her that she probably wasn’t, so not to bother coming in to the hospital. She realized later that she was in labor and rushed to the hospital, but it was too late. She said that she didn’t even realize that they weren’t going to try to save the babies and they both died without her ever seeing their bodies. If the doctor had listened to her there might be a very different outcome, although my twin sister and I would probably not be here.


    I am so sorry that your mom was not listened to. It is stories like this that really hit home the point of care providers listening to and trusting moms intuition!

  3. I agree with this so wholeheartedly. What’s more, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration at all to suggest that respect–listening better, taking mothers more seriously, giving true informed consent–could literally save some lives.

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