Bashi Hazard and her three beautiful children
While hospitals make claim to state-of-the-art facilities and the highest standards of patient care, many women leave these same facilities feeling broken and violated, the victims of birth trauma. While a relatively new term, rejected by many in the medical community, birth trauma has been linked to postnatal depression, anxiety, and feeding and bonding issues.
Bashi Hazard, like many Australian women, has experienced firsthand the effects of birth trauma and the pressure that can be placed upon labouring women by medicos and hospital staff to submit to medical interventions. Her story, detailed in a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald
and personally presented at the University of Western Sydney's Place of Birth Conference 2012, is made more disheartening by the reality that its contents are not uncommon events for women.
Some women are aware of the risks and potential benefits of these interventions and, backed by their support people, make a stand during labour against intervention. However women who are ill-formed, and lack the support of knowledgeable and objective professionals, often find themselves railroaded by scaremongering into decisions for which they lack sufficient knowledge to make informed consent.
Championing the cause for Australian women Bashi Hazard, an Australian consumer lawyer and mother of three, has written an open letter
to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) in response to their claim in September 2012 that women are responsible for the high rates of medical intervention in birth.
Bashi seeks for all Australian women the provision of written information and an opportunity to discuss all policies, procedures, protocols, practices and pervading opinions relating to the care of labouring and birthing women within their chosen hospital and by their chosen practitioner. Only empowered with this knowledge, the opportunity for objective discussion, and the time to consider and make decisions prior to labour and birth can women truly make ‘informed consent’ about their care during labour and birth.
Likeminded women can show their support by adding their name to Bashi Hazard’s open letter to RANZCOG
, as well as adding a personal story if they wish.