By: Krystle Crossman
A California resident went into a hospital to have a baby. The single mother, who has kept her name anonymous for the time being, was a [email protected] survivor and told the doctor and nursing staff that she wanted everything to be explained to her every step of the way and that she wanted the nurses to be gentle and speak in a soft tone. When it was time to push she tried and tried but the baby’s head still was not coming out. The doctor told her that he was going to do an episiotomy which was something that the mother did not want.
Improving Birth advocate Cristen Pascucci stated that what the doctor did next was unacceptable and could be considered obstetric violence. The advocacy group took an interest in the woman’s case after she posted the birth video on Youtube to try and share her story. She told the doctor that she did not want the episiotomy and that she wanted to keep pushing because they had barely tried to do it naturally first. The doctor in a rude manner told her that if she wanted to do that she should go to another hospital to have her baby and that this is the way that he was going to do this. Her mother stood in the background while she was filming and was telling the doctor to do it. The mother had no support from anyone in the room but she was telling him that she did not want to be cut.
The nurse and doctor told the woman that it was only going to be an inch cut (which turned out not to be true) and that it would hurt a lot less than if she were to tear. The woman kept saying no but after she tried pushing again and the baby’s head was still not coming out the doctor took the scissors and cut her perineum 12 times. Finally the baby did come out and was a healthy baby boy. Pascucci stated that medical procedure such as this or c-sections are forced on women often. They are coerced at a very vulnerable time to do something that they may not want to do. The Improving Birth group started a crowd funding page to help gain money for lawyer’s fees as the woman is now suing the doctor. She went to the medical board and the hospital directors but was ignored. She must file by May before the statute of limitations runs out.