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Study Finds Many Women Feel They Were Mistreated In Labour

Labour is a scary thing, whether you are on your first baby or your fifth, the prospect of pushing them out of your body isn’t nice.

With hormones surging, not to mention pain, you need a good support system to help you through it. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that every woman has.

A study published in the Journal of Reproductive Health, has revealed that a high proportion of women actually felt that they were mistreated in some way during labour.

The study was carried by World Health Organisation (WHO) researchers, who are the leading voice in all things health related.

They found that one in six women felt they received some form of abuse or mistreatment, with the top two forms being shouting and scolding.

Over 2000 women were surveyed and researchers looked at mistreatment under the following categories: Verbal and physical abuse, autonomy, discrimination, failure to meet professional standards of care, poor rapport with providers, and poor conditions in the health system.

They found that the place of birth drastically changed the experience, with just over 5% of women who had a home birth reporting abuse and 28% of women who had a hospital birth reporting it.

The study found that abuse was higher in minority groups such as women of colour or in interracial relationships, of a lower socio economic status and women under 30.

WHO has stated that this is not a localised issue. They stated that many women face “physical and verbal abuse, violations of privacy, stigma and discrimination, and neglect and abandonment.”

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