my journey into midwifery: part 5

Listening to women

By Karen Winstead, CNM

Photo by, Adobe Stock

<<Read part 4

Even though there have been many improvements over the years, there’s still a lot of disappointment for me in seeing how women, even today, are treated.

What I’ve learned from listening to women is that they are too often given little to no choice about their care. They may be cajoled or berated into doing things they don’t want.

They aren’t provided good, solid wellness strategies to help them along in their pregnancies and birth.

I’ve seen women who were pushed into epidurals and c-sections who didn’t want them and probably didn’t need them.

I’ve seen women who were not fully informed of the risks of procedures such as induction of labor, episiotomies, and c-sections.

Yet others were not given referrals they needed, including for mental health services, nutritional counseling, or abuse counseling. Several physician clients were steered away from chiropractic care that could have relieved back pain. Medicaid and many insurance companies will pay for expensive physical therapy treatments, narcotics and antidepressants to help women with back pain, but not chiropractic care that in many cases may help rid back pain altogether.

On one occasion, I can remember with clarity seeing a new nurse being backed up against the wall in a hallway by a physician who was lecturing her on why her patient needed an epidural. The nurse kept replying that the patient did not want one, and the physician kept telling the nurse she needed to talk to the woman and make the woman get the epidural.

But, for me, the straw that broke the camel’s back was what happened to Jessica. Jessica was a single, young woman, and pregnant for the third time...

Read part 6>>

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