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This Horror Story of a Birth in a Pakistani Hospital Is Shocking

Warning! As a mother to be, this might make you queasy…

Its hard being a woman no matter where you’re from. From the moment that you’re born to your very last breath, women have to deal with their every step being endlessly scrutinized. Personal boundaries is a word that doesn’t even exist for many people in our society.

In the subcontinental societies like ours, people (read Rishta aunties) expect that females should be married off as soon as they can. If not, then its generally assumed that there’s something wrong with them. Many people make marriage sound like a quick-fix to all your problems.

If you thought that getting married means an end to all that meddling, you might be mistaken. Once you fall for the first bit, desi society starts pestering you to have children.

Today we are going to look at how our healthcare system is not at all equipped for the struggles of women in labor. A medical student shared her experience of what usually happens inside the delivery room of a local government hospital.

Government Hospitals Are Not Equipped to Deal With Deliveries

It all started with this thread:

Here we have a medical student, who is taught how cleanliness is crucial to her practice. But in real life, she faced the shock of her life.

This girl was flabbergasted by the unsanitary and unhygienic conditions that exist at a government hospital labor room.

She had to witness a child birth, and that too in horrific conditions. Do human lives have no worth here?

Dirty sheets mind you. Whatever happened to ‘life is sacred?’

Government hospitals what’s your excuse? Where is our tax-payers money going?

This student mentions that a woman in labor was unmonitored, with no one in sight. And she was in pain. It gets worse from here:

Wait a minute? No family? Under what law?

Note: “The lady doctor who had to perform the procedure was nowhere in sight.”

This medical student and the patient were all alone there. And this is when this student decided to get to the bottom of this unprofessional attitude exhibited by the hospital staff. Its a good thing this student did not forget the fact that doctors are supposed to be empathetic.

In her company, the patient’s pain continued to subside, which compelled this medical student to search finally search for help. The reinforcements were supposed to be on the frontline, but apparently not.

She found the doctor. And this is the part where we all have to think hard about this – If you did not become a doctor to “help others in an incredibly significant way,” you do not have the right motivation to become a physician. That’s how med-schools evaluate your personal statement (assuming you wrote one).

Now this doctor, one could assume that they could know how to handle things from here. But apparently not:

What was the doctor there for, if not medical assistance?

Here we had a woman who is undergoing childbirth, a painful process by any means. And this ‘doctor’ at a government hospital had this to say to her as she asked the mother to push:

Tum ma banay ka qabil ni ho‘ (you are not worthy of being a mother).

Woah, where did that come from?

This alarming situation could have gotten pretty out of hand, if not for the medical student’s efforts. She exhibited the empathy and professionalism that was expected of every medical practitioner.

This med-student really saved the day. That’s the kind of healthcare professions we need.

This is why life is sacred. Most women aren’t informed about the labor behind being a mother.

Yes, complicated deliveries are a reality. An epidural or C-section is an alternative in that case. Educated women know this and evaluate their options better. Sure we can always say that the cost of these procedures could be an issue, but not at the cost of other human lives!

A higher education level was associated with a markedly higher C-section rate in all three surveys, specifically; in 2012–2013

The story doesn’t end here. If anything, it gets way worse.

Imagine a scenario where a woman is having trouble with childbirth. And one nurse decides to get extra handsy with her.

Physical assault is a felony. We see another example of how the system exploits the ignorance of the patient.

And of course, you can always expect these folks to get rude. What’s a few angry words when you are ok with slapping a patient?

Hamaray pass faltu time hai tumharay liye” (we don’t have time for you).

Good thing someone sane was present there. This med-student is proving to be just like Wonder Woman:

When you slap a patient, you can’t expect her to do anything.

They only thought of applying fundal pressure now? Fundal pressure is the application of external pressure with the hands to assist in natural birth. It’s a controversial and understudied process, and yet these people still use it.

This whole thing looks like it could really take one life to bring another life into this world.

It is important to get certain things clear here. Medicare professions don’t do their jobs out of courtesy. They get paid to do it. If they’re not doing it right, they have no business being in that hospital.

This ordeal was an eye-opener for a student. And the patient mustered up enough energy to tell her how her help saved her:

Aapko Allah nay meray lye farsihta bana ker bhaija hai. Aapka boht shukriya” (Allah sent you as my angel. Thank you so much).

As the only Medicare professional in that room who was really doing her job, this is how she ended her thread.

Oh and that nurse who slapped the patient? Apparently this ‘senior‘ had years of practice and still couldn’t do her job right.

Concluding Thoughts

The unfortunate thing here is are the struggles that a woman in labor is likely to face at a government hospital. Its heart-breaking and very real. And what’s more, the average Pakistani woman is not even aware of their rights while being admitted to a hospital.

To sum it up, women need to be aware of these rights:

  • You should not be alone in the labor room
  • No one can stop your family (at least your mother) from being in the labor room with you. Exceptions apply when you’re having an epidural and they can’t be in an operation theater.
  • Your doctor is supposed to discuss alternative methods of delivery such as an epidural if you’re having a complicated and difficult delivery.
  • It is not okay for anyone to hit you, especially medicare professionals! They deserve to be fired and their license suspended.
  • The government also needs to do its bit here. These medical professionals are often overworked or missing in action. There’s a need for stringent rules, better funding, equipment and all the other bells and whistles that should be part of a professionally run hospital.

The even sadder part is the fact that women that can read the thread are those who are already aware of their rights. But what about those from less privileged backgrounds? Certainly the government, the medical education system and other stakeholders need to do more to educate women from all backgrounds that medicare is a fundamental human right.

How do we get this information across to the women that can’t read that Twitter thread?

Written by Ummara Sheraz

Entertainment & culture writer at ProPakistani/Lens. Occasionally dabbles in other news.

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