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AIBU to be absolutely horrified by this way of thinking?

(186 Posts)
WantsToBeFree Sat 20-Oct-12 17:36:11

The YouTube video above has some interesting views on "birth rape", which have scared me a bit to be honest. This guy appears to think that when a woman walks into a hospital to give birth, she has given implied consent to any examination or procedure that they may decide to perform on her. If she isn't agreeable, then she should just deliver the baby alone, at home.


I understand that for some obvious things there is consent (the doctor will have to touch the genitals while guiding the baby out etc.) , but there is no implied consent for forceps, ventouse, episiotomies and c sections! These are serious procedures which can only be performed after the necessity has been explained to the mother and her consent has been obtained. Only in a minuscule proportion of cases would there be a situation where the doctor doesn't even have 2 minutes to at least get verbal consent.

And yes, I do think that even though we don't have medical degrees we have the final say in what does or doesn't happen to our bodies. I also think that it isn't unreasonable for a woman to feel violated if a procedure was performed on her without her express consent during the delivery or if her dignity and modesty were disregarded.

I think most of us realise that childbirth is unpredictable and involves intimate exposure. However, this doesn't mean that the healthcare professionals can treat us however they want and that we have to give them a carte blanche to do what they please.

I am stupefied that people (who claim to be liberals) actually think that way. Interestingly, these are the same guys who were furious when the transvaginal ultrasound was made mandatory for women seeking abortions in an American state and they called it "government sanctioned rape". Well, if the doctor can't put an ultrasound probe in my fanjo without my consent, why do they think it's Ok for him/her to put in a pair of forceps without my consent or worse, against my consent?

Even liberals are misogynistic when it comes to childbirth....

Blistory Sat 20-Oct-12 17:44:29

I don't like the term "birth rape" but I do think women are sometimes appallingly treated during the birth process. And that the problem lies with the woman being viewed as a passive bystander without the knowledge or understanding needed. I know a few women traumatised by the process who are told simply to get over it as they have a healthy baby with little regard being shown for the woman's mental and physical post birth issues. It's not really good enough.

WantsToBeFree Sat 20-Oct-12 17:48:39


I don't like the term either, but if they can call a TV ultrasound "rape", then why not a forced forceps delivery? I just didn't like the double standards they had there.

Blistory Sat 20-Oct-12 17:56:43

To be honest, I would now want my mother to be present if I give birth in the future and not my partner. She would be a supportive advocate for me and entirely concerned with my wellbeing. My partner would support the doctors and midwives as all knowing gods regardless of the situation.

Women need to be listened to more in these situations and the medical world needs to stop treating women as breeders. Just because a baby is coming out of my bits doesn't mean I want the world coming to the party and forgetting there's a woman attached to the vagina.

MyLastDuchess Sat 20-Oct-12 17:57:35

I'm not going to watch the video as I am due to give birth fairly soon and I think I could do without it! But YANBU. I had to have a general anaesthetic within about 10 mins of giving birth to DC1, due to a serious haemorrhage. At all stages the doctor told me what she was doing and why, and what was going to happen next if it didn't work (not that I cared much to be honest grin. This was in a situation where (although I wasn't aware of it at the time) the room was filled with medical professionals and there was blood all over the floor - ie it was an emergency. If a doctor can do that during an emergency situation, there is no excuse for not keeping someone informed during almost all birthing situations.

WantsToBeFree Sat 20-Oct-12 18:04:16


You're safe- it's not a birthing video! It's just a general conversation between two TV anchors and it isn't graphic at all. So you could watch if you wanted smile

CookingFunt Sat 20-Oct-12 18:08:46

My DM was given a symphsiotomy (sp?) AFTER her first baby was born. She did not know what it was or that it was done to her until two years ago. She has been in pain most of her adult life because of it. A labouring/birthing woman is vulnerable and should have every procedure explained.

WilsonFrickett Sat 20-Oct-12 18:13:04

I got half way through that video. Way. To. Miss. The. Point. They actually make Fox News look intelligent and considered.

CookingFunt Sat 20-Oct-12 18:26:24

Come to think of it when I had each baby the doctor or midwives asked before examining or touching me. When they thought they would need to use forceps they explained what they were and why.

WantsToBeFree Sat 20-Oct-12 18:29:40


Slightly off topic, but had you refused the forceps, do you think your wishes would have been respected?

SchrodingersMew Sat 20-Oct-12 18:33:49

What about stitches? After my forceps delivery I begged the Dr to stop doing the stitches it was agony and he completely refused saying I needed them (they didn't last more than 12 hours anyway). Should he have respected me when I asked him to stop?

Blistory Sat 20-Oct-12 18:37:14

Yes, why do you doubt it ? It would have taken him a minute or less to explain why the stitches were necessary and allowed you to make an informed choice.

WantsToBeFree Sat 20-Oct-12 18:38:03


Yes, he should have stopped and given you pain relief. Then he should have explained the importance and need of the stitches before proceeding. He sounds like a jackass to be honest.

5madthings Sat 20-Oct-12 18:41:06

schrodingers i asked stop stitching me adter ds2 as it was excruciating! They stopped, gave me more local anaesthetic and some gas and air and a midwife sat and held my hand and helped me ti breathe through it once i gave my consent for them to continue. so yes the dr shoukd have stopped!

SchrodingersMew Sat 20-Oct-12 18:43:44

Blistory I don't know why I doubt it, it just seemed it was something I couldn't refuse, god knows I tried!

Wants The pain relief doesn't work on me in normal doses, he knew this as at that moment I had a failed epidural and failed local so he knew, I also told him it didn't work.

5Mad Really? I wish I had realised he should have stopped at the time!

SchrodingersMew Sat 20-Oct-12 18:45:21

I guess in that position especially as a first timer you are trusting them to be right, they done a few things wrong but I didn't realise I could actually refuse any of it, if I had I am sure it would have been much different.

Blistory Sat 20-Oct-12 18:46:52

And therein lies the problem. You shouldn't have to know. It should be made clear that you have a right to as much or as little intervention as you want. And the information to make informed choices.

SchrodingersMew Sat 20-Oct-12 18:50:27

I suppose before it I did know at least to a certain extent but I kept refusing the G+A because of the way it made me feel, the MW was pushing it in my face telling me to take it and just gave me a sick bowl, no matter how much I said I didn't want it (I was screaming so I guess this is why but there was a reason I was in so much pain and they could have worked on that instead) the G+A makes me feel very very drunk and very paranoid and that clouded my judgement and I felt quite like I couldn't do anything or say no to any of it.

SchrodingersMew Sat 20-Oct-12 18:52:35

And I don't know, I'm not completely opposed to the word "rape" being used in some cases. I mean when it involves someone sticking knives and hands up your fanjo while you are literally buckled into stirrups I think there can be some comparison.

lisaro Sat 20-Oct-12 18:55:39

I had a terrible experience with my second thanks to a BITCH of a midwife. It was in a British military hospital. I felt violated. My third was born elsewhere. I'd blame my PND on it.

Blistory Sat 20-Oct-12 18:56:11

I agree but I know several rape victims who feel diminished by it's use in this context so just prefer not to use it myself.

SchrodingersMew Sat 20-Oct-12 18:59:43

This will sound terrible but I would find it hard to completely sympathise with a rape victim who would be offended by the words used in this context.

Just because there is no sexual intention doesn't make it any less traumatic.

Lisaro Did you complain? I don't know how it would work in a military hospital..

SchrodingersMew Sat 20-Oct-12 19:00:26

And I wouldn't use the words myself but completely understand why others might.

lisaro Sat 20-Oct-12 19:14:18

I made an unofficial complaint but we moved not long after. It was 20 years ago.

WantsToBeFree Sat 20-Oct-12 19:15:07

Rape isn't just sexual- if a man inserted an object into my vagina forcibly while I was tied to a bed, but did not attempt to have sex with me, wouldn't that still count as assault and a violation of human dignity?
Why then is the process of inserting anything into a labouring womans vagina while she is helpless in stirrups any different?!

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