Obstetric violence has been, and continues to be, a type of silent violence for a long time, but the UN itself has taken a big step by acknowledging its existence a couple of years ago. She argues that many women experience “disrespectful, offensive or negligent treatment during childbirth,” and that assuming it exists is necessary to take action and eliminate it.
However, from some it is rejected. The General Council of Official Medical Associations (CGCOM) issued a statement regarding the reform of the Abortion Law in which it denies that there is obstetric violence. But the Galician midwives did not remain silent and showed their “total disagreement” in another statement, claiming that “obstetric violence does exist” and that the first step to eradicate it is to recognize it .
“It does not conform to reality”
The CGCOM statement indicates that the term obstetric violence “does not fit the reality of care for pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum in our country and criminalizes the actions of professionals who work under the principles of scientific rigor and medical ethics.”
The agency guarantees “the non-existence of violent acts in patient care” ensures that, in any case, all actions are guided by the “principle of beneficence.”
What is obstetric violence?
After reading these words, one wonders what obstetric violence is and what is understood, or what some understand, by obstetric violence.
We refer to the violence suffered by pregnant women during childbirth care, from mistreatment and verbal abuse, to physical abuse, as well as unnecessary medical interventions and / or without their consent.
In Babies and more we have echoed cases of women with very bad experiences during childbirth care, who have felt mistreated, humiliated or belittled in one of the most important moments of their lives.
Many express that they have experienced non-respected births, even traumatic ones, that their rights have been trampled on, annulling them as protagonists of the process and robbing them of that unique and intimate moment such as the birth of a child.
“Denying it makes the person who exercises it an accomplice”
In response to the CGCOM, the Galician Association of Midwives released a statement explaining that obstetric violence is “a type of violence exerted on women, recognized by organizations and entities” such as the WHO and the UN, as well as societies scientists such as FAME, nursing colleges and midwifery associations. “Obstetric violence exists, denying it makes the person exercising it an accomplice.”
“It is proven that obstetric violence has been exercised, is exercised and will continue to be exercised in our country if we do not act forcefully and firmly. It is time to stop looking the other way and for all the professionals involved in obstetrics to stop the problem, calling obstetric violence by its name, without euphemisms, “says the Federation of Associations of Midwives of Spain (FAME).
Galician midwives recognize it as a type of gender violence and mention that health professionals themselves “feel complicit or participants” in obstetric violence, even “becoming traumatized” by witnessing “abusive and / or violent” practices. .
And to clarify, they frame within this type of violence habitual practices such as when the recommendations regarding the rate of episiotomies, cesarean sections or inductions of labor are not met, when discouraged maneuvers such as the Kristeller maneuver or the maneuver of labor are practiced. Hamilton, when the woman is infantilized or her consent is obviated in fundamental situations, the accompaniment is denied or the mother-baby binomial is separated.
“Recognizing and knowing how to identify obstetric violence implies a change of perspective, putting the woman and the baby at the center of the process “, point out the midwives. And we applaud them.
In Babies and more | What to do and what to say if you feel that you are not being treated well during your delivery, One in ten women in Spain claims to have had a traumatic delivery, according to a recent study