Women Reveal Mistreatment During Pregnancy and Birth Process

Pregnancy requires emotional and physical change, bringing various challenges and difficult adjustments. For this reason, it is crucial that women receive maximum support and care throughout their motherhood journey.

A new report by the CDC, however, suggests that many women undergo mistreatment during maternity care.

Although significant progress has occurred over the past 20 years, in 2020, there were approximately 287,000 deaths of pregnant and postpartum women.

What did the report reveal?

During pregnancy and delivery, women from certain racial and ethnic minority groups are also more likely to have unfavorable healthcare experiences that affect the standard of treatment and health outcomes.

The highest pregnancy-related deaths were among Black, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women.

The CDC report also reveals glaring differences in maternity care abuse with 20% of respondents saying they had been mistreated when receiving maternity care.

Some concerns included receiving no response to calls for assistance, being yelled at or reprimanded, and lacking protection for their bodily privacy.

Additionally, being forced to take unwelcome treatment or being threatened with withholding therapy was one of the concerns.

During maternity care, improved communication is required. Throughout pregnancy or birth, 45% of mothers admitted being reluctant to voice their questions or concerns.

They reported difficulty speaking up about their concerns, believing anything they were experiencing was typical. Many women also chose not to make a big deal out of it or feel ashamed to bring it up. The survey also suggests that many mothers believed their doctor would view them as challenging or uptight.

To alleviate this issue, healthcare systems may encourage respectful care that equally considers all mothers' beliefs, needs, and preferences to raise the standard of maternity care.

Moreover, maternity care providers may ensure that patients are interested in their health, feel heard, and are respected. Communities may also promote health equity and create knowledge of respectful care.

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