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Obstetrical Abuse Takes Many Forms

Updated: Jun 27, 2022

I was really upset about a birth I went to recently. I woke up after sleeping it off and just needed to tell y'all about it.

This is why we do what we do, as doulas. We make sure birthing people are standing in their own power. That they own the autonomy of their own bodies. There needs to be a change. Accountability needs to take place. How is anyone still practicing like this? How can ANYONE still be making excuses for caregivers who act like this?

Afterward, the nurse said to me:

"You know, she's a little hard on people but it's just her way, it's because she cares so much"

and while I truly appreciated that nurse, I thought, that was an absurd comment.

THAT ALSO IS ABUSIVE - what a horrible thing, to make excuses and equate the level of abuse with the depth of care someone has for another person (gaslighting anyone?). That is SICK and TWISTED. Am I wrong? This is how people get away with domestic violence, until one day mama is dead at the hands of her partner and everyone says, but we never knew the partner was like that...

I'd like to challenge the notion, did you though, or did someone/society always make excuses?

Can you think of other ways that we can combat abuse while still staying within our scope?

I have to admit, I felt so helpless in this situation. I felt like, of all people, after almost 30 years, I SHOULD know what to do. I even felt a little ashamed that I didn't have a magic answer to fix this for my client. We were all appalled. I'm still appalled. Even though hindsight is 20/20, I still don't know what I could have done, while staying within my Scope, and/or avoiding breaking the law in some form to "save" her - even though saving was never my job - gotta remember, I'm just the doula.


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