A mother was left traumatised after a midwife slapped her during labour.
The labour of mum Tracey, not her real name, began as well as can be expected, and the midwives were helpful, but her nightmare began when the shifts changed and a new midwife was assigned to her.
She told Kidspot her harrowing experience about the birth of her son back in 2015 that left her traumatised and decided to leave the hospital just six hours after giving birth.
“I was sitting in the shower on a chair with the gas machine when she came in and took the gas off me and tried to make me get up and walk to the bed. And that’s when the friction began.
“I would sort of moan through contractions, by this stage, I wasn’t using the gas anymore, I was trying my own pain relief.
“When it came time to push, I was on the bed. I told them I needed to push but she looked down and told me that I didn’t need to push and not to push, but I needed to, so I tried, it was horrible, so, so painful, not like my others,” the mum-of-three recounted.
Having given birth twice before already, Tracey knew if something was wrong. “I told her something was wrong and please check my cervix but she told me nothing was wrong and that I just didn’t need to push like I said I did. I begged her through pushes, to please check my cervix something was wrong – she still didn’t,” she said.
Thankfully, another midwife entered the room and Tracey asked her to check her cervix, and Tracey was right, her cervix was lapped over her baby’s head. “He was coming but he couldn’t go any further, so she moved the lap and I began pushing again, grunting through the pain – keeping in mind I’ve had no pain relief except for the gas hours beforehand,” she said. But what happened next was unexpected and totally unacceptable.
The midwife, who didn’t listen to Tracey’s concerns, approached her in the most aggressive and inappropriate manner.
“She put her face against my face, and said ‘you’re being too noisy be quiet before you scare others’ and slapped me across the leg. It left a mark with a clear hand print – it wasn’t an ‘encouragement’ slap – it really hurt,” she said.
However, Tracey chose to ignore the midwife because there are other things to think about, but her partner couldn’t take it. “I remember thinking ‘she’s lucky that I’m in labour’ but I had to grab my partner because he was about to stand up to go towards her. My only words to her were ‘I bloody wouldn’t’. I didn’t listen – I just kept making the noise I wanted to make,” she said.
Five minutes after the incident, her baby boy arrived, and just six hours after giving birth, she decided to leave the hospital due to the appalling situation. “I left the hospital six hours after giving birth as I didn’t feel comfortable there because of that nurse,” she said.
In her home follow-up, the other midwife empathised with her, although she didn’t comment about the harsh behaviour of her colleague at the time. “It was bad enough that the other midwife in the room reported her for it and urged me to report her for it as well. In my home follow-up, she expressed her disgust and empathy about what happened,” she said.
Tracey called the hospital after a week and asked for an apology from the nurse but she said that the midwife refused. “She was given a warning and that was that. I was really angry. I haven’t let it fester though it’s been two years so I’ve started moving on and put it behind me. She ruined my birth experience with my son, nothing I do will get that back anyway,” she said.
Now, Tracey is six weeks pregnant with her fourth child, and she vowed to never return to the said hospital.