Childbirth has always been a difficult and painful time, and to make it safer and make the woman feel more protected in the last fifty years, a medicalization process has been initiated that begins with the onset of pregnancy and reaches its peak. in the delivery room.
Yet a major new survey found that many women not only felt unsafe during childbirth, but they even suffered violence, physical or psychological, by medical and obstetric personnel.
To make it known is the research “Women and childbirth”, promoted by the Observatory on Obstetric Violence Italy and conducted by Doxa with the contribution of the associations La Goccia Magica and CiaoLapo Onlus and disseminated through the campaign “Enough to be silent: mothers have a voice”.
The study examined a sample of 5 million Italian women, between 18 and 54 years old, with at least one child aged 0-14, and investigated the different aspects and moments experienced during the stages of labor and delivery. 21% of the sample reported having suffered an experience of obstetric violence during childbirth or labor in the hospital; and 41% (4 out of 10 women) have undergone practices harmful to their dignity.
Among the violent operations suffered by women is the episiotomy, performed on 54% of women in labor. 61% of which stated that they had not given informed consent. For 15% it was an impairment of the genital organs, and 13% of mothers felt betrayed by hospital staff.
Another widespread intervention is that of Caesarean section: practiced on 32% of women in labor, 15% of which are urgent, 14% scheduled at the request of the doctor, and 3% explicitly requested by women. Very high data given that the WHO recommends not to exceed the 10% threshold.
Other practices under accusation are the use of the suction cup or forceps, induction pharmacological of labor, invasive vaginal visits, verbal humiliations, shaving of the pubis, separation from the baby without a medical reason, the obligation to give birth lying down with the legs on the stirrups …
Then there are the tales of loneliness and abandonment. 27% of the sample interviewed said they felt they were only partially followed by the medical team, while a further 6% said they experienced the birth in total solitude and without assistance.
There are also shortcomings on breastfeeding: 27% of mothers complained of a lack of support and information.
12% of women stated that they were denied the possibility of having a trusted person close to them during labor; and 13% said they had not had adequate pain therapy.
6% of women, finally reports the investigation, suffered such trauma that they no longer wanted other pregnancies.