A card on the mat in December is usually nice.

For gynaecologists, obstetricians or maternity nurses, the message may not be very nice this year, but it is educational and confronting.

The Birth Movement calls on women to share their negative birth experience and sends it to your healthcare provider.

Why actually?

They write the message on a card and send it to the relevant professional in the birth care.

A culture change in this sector is necessary, says Marjolein van Gelderen, chair of the Birth Movement.

For example, what does such a card say?

"Without saying anything, you pulled back the curtain, told me to spread my legs, and went to check my stitches. When I said I didn't have them, you walked away without saying a word."

“When women lose control and are deprived of their autonomy, it is experienced as traumatic.”

Marjolein van Gelderen

Or this entry: "My plan has said several times that I have sexual traumas. Then why didn't you listen when I panicked from your hand against my cervix? Why did I even have to kick until it became clear?"

Another woman shares the following story: "I asked you to touch slowly, but you didn't have the patience. I feel raped."

Enough shut up

For the third time, BirthMovement is organizing the #enough silent campaign.

This organization is committed to the rights of women during pregnancy and childbirth in Dutch birth care.

The woman, and no one else, is in control of her pregnancy and childbirth, she says.

And that too often doesn't happen at all.

We asked director Marjolein van Gelderen about this desired culture change.

“I asked you to touch slowly, but you didn't have the patience.

I feel raped.”

Van Gelderen: "It is not the pain or the event itself that makes a birth experience negative, but communication during childbirth in particular has a major influence on how it is experienced. When women lose control and are deprived of their autonomy, this is sometimes seen as traumatic. Research by the UMC Groningen shows that at least 10 percent of women experience a birth as traumatic and one in five women has a negative birth experience. We want to put that theme on the map."

What else needs to be done to get that number down?

"Too often, the mind of the woman who is going into labor is determined. All women want help during childbirth, but they want to be involved in it. We have a culture in which women are not well informed and in which they often do not For example, a cut is made without permission, or a gynecologist pulls hard on the placenta, touching is done when you don't want it."

"The umbilical cord is cut just like that, women are induced without having enough information about it. Maternity nurses keep pushing to make breastfeeding a success, while you have already made the choice for formula feeding. The mindset is: you can decide about pregnant and maternity women. ."

The midwife non-stop during your delivery: that's what most Dutch women want.

  • Read the research by EenVandaag and Ouders van Nu.

Do women know enough about what to expect before giving birth?

"It goes as it goes, women often think, and I'll wait. But you can plan your delivery just like you plan a wedding. And just like a wedding you can't influence everything, but you can expect caregivers "At least stick to your plan. Or to your plan B, or C. In the Netherlands, no one should be forced to undergo treatment or medical intervention. Women are allowed to make their own choices and they may deviate from the medical advice."

Are gynecologists and obstetricians happy with you?

"If such a card comes in, you have done something that was not your intention, but that has damaged someone else. That can be bad. However, feedback from a client is very valuable. In the discussion between the maternity woman and the care provider "When your baby is six weeks old, women often don't come up with feedback about the birth and the culture in obstetrics isn't one of talking to each other."

“In the Netherlands, no one should be forced to undergo treatment or medical intervention.

Women are allowed to make their own choices.”

Marjolein van Gelderen

"It often goes well again, the baby is healthy and they think: never mind. Every year we have a knot in our stomach when we hear these stories. We don't want to sweep those stories under the carpet, because there is no concern better off."

What changes would really improve birth care?

"We know that continuity of care provider leads to better outcomes; fewer interventions and a healthy mother and child. That means a care provider with whom you click, who assists you throughout your delivery and who knows your wishes and birth plan. respectful care, in which women retain control over where they give birth and with whom, and where they

can give

informed consent

."

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