“The really stressful thing about it was I felt I was really on top of it, and then all of a sudden people were telling me I wasn’t in labour. When you haven’t had a baby before you don’t know. It freaked me out – if this wasn’t labour then what was it going to be like?”
Can you imagine feeling as though you are about to give birth – and being shown the door?
Women have spoken out in a recent article published on The Guardian, about being turned away from their local maternity ward despite turning up with signs of early labour. In several cases these women have gone on to have their babies in hotels, shopping centres, or even on the street. They are calling for early labour to be given more attention in healthcare settings, saying women know their own bodies.
Michelle Booth, quoted above, was told to go home from hospital despite experiencing contractions, twinges, and pains.She eventually gave birth to her son in a hotel room and says it was frustrating to not be listened to.
“You’re having an experience and someone is telling you that it isn’t the experience you’re having. If you’ve never had a baby before, you’re reliant on the professionals giving you advice.”
Supporters are warning that women should not be turned away when they show up at hospitals, particularly at such a vulnerable time.
“It’s been shown that some women who have had serious problems like stillbirths have reported worries and concerns, turned up to their maternity unit several times and been ignored, and gone to have tragic consequences,” says Rebecca Schiller, chief executive of the charity Birthrights.
Have you ever felt you were being ignored during your pregnancy? Was childbirth a safe and positive experience for you, or did you feel like your voice wasn’t being heard? Please share your story HERE.