Let’s take a moment to discuss a little thing called bedside manner, shall we? Bedside manner is, essentially, a doctor’s attitude toward their patient. Some doctors are wonderfully amicable, while others can be, well, not. And while you shouldn’t weigh a person’s professionalism on how friendly they are (some folks just don’t have it in them), if they are exceptionally rude or otherwise awful, perhaps they need to be called out — especially when it comes to OB-GYNs and midwives. I have a feeling you'll be horrified to hear the downright awful things medical providers have said to postpartum moms, but I think acknowledging this problem is the only way we, as a society, can fix it. So, here we are: acknowledging.
It's pretty common for new moms to find themselves in a particularly volatile state postpartum. Hormones are shifting. Your life has changed drastically as you learn to care for another human being more than you've ever cared for yourself. You're sleep deprived. You're recovering from childbirth. I mean, it’s rough. So OB-GYNs, nurses, and midwives all need to mind their Ps and Qs when it comes to how they care for us postpartum moms. For example, when I lost my first baby, I had to (quite unfortunately) visit my OB-GYN for a postpartum checkup. It was already an awful situation. I was grieving, experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety, and in a room full of pregnant women. I asked if they could put me in a separate room, but the powers that be wouldn’t allow it. After waiting over two hours to see my OB, his manner was jovial and candid. He told me many women lose their first babies, and that I should be just fine having another. No big deal.
No big deal. No big deal? You can imagine my rage at this man and his lousy way with words, as though the birth and death of my daughter at five months gestation was nothing more than a hiccup. Awful, right? What’s worse is that I’m not the only one who’s experienced this kind of horrific treatment from a postpartum care provider. So if you’ve got the stomach for it, here are a few other hellish stories that will make you think long and hard about who you trust with your post-birth care: