Page 7 | The NHS is run by misogynists, say women forced to give birth alone

(191 Posts)
MillyMollyFarmer Sun 20-Sep-20 13:54:00

Tory MP Alicia Kearns has been running a campaign to make all NHS trusts change the policies around women giving birth and for pregnancy check ups during Covid. It’s horrific but I didn’t realise it was still ongoing now. This includes women who have lost their babies and have to proceed with the process alone as partners wait outside. I’m so utterly horrified at the inhumane way they are dealing with this. It’s unnecessary. Apparently Boris has backed calls but some trusts are just ignoring women’s requests. I find this so upsetting.

OP’s posts: |
LittleTiger007 Mon 21-Sep-20 11:28:15

@BimbleTea I am so very sorry and sad to read your story. God bless you.

AnotherEmma Mon 21-Sep-20 11:30:04

"What word centres women and promotes and protects our needs. I genuinely can't think of one."

Er... feminism?! It's so obvious I feel I must be missing something?!

rorosemary Mon 21-Sep-20 11:32:57


rorosemary I am so very sorry flowers I hope you’re ok now and I am glad you had a partner with you. I understand your feelings and I hope you’ve had plenty of support since.

I am, thank you, and pregnant again. I'm not in the UK so where I am one partner gets to stay with me. They assured me that even if DH has fullblown coughing covid he will still get to stay, although will be forced to wear a hazmat suit and whatnot and they'll wear full PPE but I'm allowed him there and I won't have to wear anything.

But I really don't understand this stance that many hospitals in the UK are taking. What does it matter if he is or isn't there for the first 4 cm? He'll probably see enough staff during the rest so might as well be there from the beginning. Make the partners wear visors and masks if need be. Birthing mothers shouldn't be alone, unless the mother wants to herself.

MillyMollyFarmer Mon 21-Sep-20 11:34:03

I’m so sorry for your terribly sad loss and that you had to do it all alone. There are no words of comfort that will help you, I know, but I am sorry and I agree with you that there just doesn’t seem to be justification for it. Especially as you both isolated. How awful for you flowers

OP’s posts: |
MillyMollyFarmer Mon 21-Sep-20 11:35:34

rorosemary congratulations and I’m so glad for you that you can have DH with you this time. Thank goodness.

OP’s posts: |
Yukka Mon 21-Sep-20 11:41:56


"What word centres women and promotes and protects our needs. I genuinely can't think of one."

Er... feminism?! It's so obvious I feel I must be missing something?!

But feminism views focus on a range of social and political ideology's. Liberal feminism. Radical feminism. Social feminism. Marxist feminism. They all represent and desire different things for women. Some focus more on the removal of others rights (bring down the patriarchy!) And some focus on the creation of a purely female centred society. It can all be a bit extreme.

Take the example earlier of the lady where the female dr wouldn't give pain relief, but I'm sure if asked would never in a million years think that she's a woman hater. What is that? Maybe it is just plain misogyny.

I probably can't explain well enough it until I can put words or a word to the thoughts in my mind about it. So I'll leave it there.

AnotherEmma Mon 21-Sep-20 11:50:56

So feminism isn't the right word - despite the fact that there are many "flavours" of feminism as you point out yourself - because "it can all be a bit extreme"?

God help us.

This thread is so depressing, it's on the feminism chat board so I would have hoped for better sad

Itisbetter Mon 21-Sep-20 11:55:19

I think whatever is safer is a good idea.

LittleTiger007 Mon 21-Sep-20 11:58:37

@rorosemary I’m so sorry for all that you went through. Congratulations on your new pregnancy. I’m pregnant again too.
All the best to you for a wonderful experience this time around.

LittleTiger007 Mon 21-Sep-20 11:59:45

Thanks @MillyMollyFarmer. Maybe women’s stories need to be gathered up and sent to the powers that be. Alternatively to the BBC?

Yukka Mon 21-Sep-20 12:06:18

It's just an opinion. One that you dismissed from the get go with little insight. And the superior tone of your last sentence is an example of the problem. You are putting other women down. Why do you do this?

mindfulnessfail Mon 21-Sep-20 12:06:20


I don't know what the situation was previously with regards to giving birth to a baby who has passed, however I can confidently say that partners are allowed with you now.

I am having a termination at 22 weeks tomorrow, due to my baby girl having severe heart issues that mean she is 'incompatible with life'.

My husband will be with me for the process tomorrow, and, when I'm admitted back to hospital on Wednesday to be induced, we will both be in a suite together, and he'll be with me when I'm moved to delivery too.

I was able to deliver in London, Kent or Sussex. Of the four NHS hospitals I was offered, all have the same provision with regards to partners.

I am hugely grateful that he can be by my side and have a chance to meet our daughter.

I'm petrified, but knowing he'll be there helps a bit. I had to hear the initial news on my own at a scan in our Kent hospital, but he has been there for the subsequent diagnosis and tests, all carried out in London. Throughout this process, we have been assured by various midwives and consultants that the situation is changing, and every fight is being fought to allow partners to be present at every stage

Longcoffee am so sorry for you, what an awful thing for you all to go through. Wishing you all the best flowers

MillyMollyFarmer Mon 21-Sep-20 12:06:28

* LittleTiger007* congratulations to you on your new pregnancy too, that’s wonderful and I wish you all the best.

Alicia Kearns was just on Talk Radio with Julia Hartley-Brewer discussing this. This is important, she said a lot of doctors have contacted her as they’re concerned that they’ve never seen so many tears on maternity wards or so much PTSD amongst new mums.

This is 100% a feminist issue. I hope we can all support the campaign rather than dismiss the concerns from both women affected, and their doctors.

OP’s posts: |
ifonlyus Mon 21-Sep-20 12:06:51

"I think, too often, women are just seen as easy pickings"

Yes to this. In a system where pregnant and birthing women are already often infantalised and their wants and needs overridden to often dire outcomes.

LittleTiger007 Mon 21-Sep-20 12:11:03

@MillyMollyFarmer that is interesting to hear... I really hope this campaign gathers momentum

ArticulateYourLife Mon 21-Sep-20 12:11:14

Can I put in a word for the predominantly female work force caring for these pregnant and labouring women, or don't they count?

ifonlyus Mon 21-Sep-20 12:20:22

Also - I am so sorry to read everyone's sad stories on here, either those of going through loss alone or traumatic births.

MillyMollyFarmer Mon 21-Sep-20 12:21:33

We’re discussing this campaign and the guidelines some trusts are ignoring. The focus is maternity care. As I just said, doctors are concerned at the effect this is having on their patients and don’t want these restrictions. What ‘word’ for female HCPs would you like to have that’s relevant to the thread topic? I hope it’s not another attempt to minimise mothers suffering or prioritise someone else’s needs.

OP’s posts: |
DidoLamenting Mon 21-Sep-20 12:33:05

Is feminism all about infantilising women? Seems that way.

DidoLamenting Mon 21-Sep-20 12:35:24


and attend antenatal appointments alone

And so what? They are women, not children

That's pretty a misogynistic viewpoint in itself. It's one thing to provide valuable debate and another to reduce the experience of all women to the limitations of your own

Provide debate as long as it supports the prevailing viewpoint? Why does feminism seek to infantilise women?

MillyMollyFarmer Mon 21-Sep-20 12:38:00

Women needing support does not equate to them being infantilised. What a ridiculous comment. It is sexist to tell women if they can’t cope with something serious alone that they are behaving like children. I’m not sure why you keep commenting the same thing. This is meant to be a support site.

OP’s posts: |
MillyMollyFarmer Mon 21-Sep-20 12:39:12

Having a birthing partner improves birth outcomes. So to simply dismiss those facts and repeatedly say women don’t need support is just nonsense. Sexist nonsense.

OP’s posts: |
MoltenLasagne Mon 21-Sep-20 12:45:33

Prior to covid happening, changes to maternity care were based on understanding the changing evidence. In some cases, such as allowing partners on maternity wards this was then used as an excuse for cost cutting and reducing staffing meaning there are now fewer staff to patients than when partners were not allowed.

Since covid, many of these services that were evidence based have been deemed as "nice to have" and summarily cut without a corresponding replacement of extra staff. It is no surprise that this is having an impact on outcomes, whether that is increase in still births (reported by one London hospital recently), increase in maternal injuries or worse maternal mental health. Add on to that the cut of postnatal services and we are looking to have a very worrying situation on our hands.

LittleTiger007 Mon 21-Sep-20 12:46:49

@DidoLamenting I don’t want to have antenatal appointments alone because WE are expecting a child and I want my husband involved the entire way. So does he. Yes it’s my body but it’s his child too.
He’s also the man I love and want by my side. In no way does this mean that all women have to feel this way but I’d hazard a guess that most do if they have the choice.

I am not being a child feeling this way. I have worked in 4 continents of the world alone. I have passed kidney stones alone. I was mugged in a South American city alone. Flown long haul alone. Bought a house alone. Lived my life as a strong, professional, independent woman.

I am no child and neither am I or other woman being infantile wanting our partners by our side.

It’s not a question of not being able to cope. It’s a question of choice and love and basic human need.

ArticulateYourLife Mon 21-Sep-20 12:57:01

* I’m afraid you don’t decide what a thread I started is about. This is about a specific maternity campaign.

*Nor do you get to police a thread. I can come on and talk about kittens if I want, you don't get to decide that. Or is feminism about shutting down anyone who doesn't agree with you.

It people are at the pub drinking, I think we can get partners or doulas in the birthing room and that is currently allowable under the restrictions. What is happening is some Trusts are not following the guidelines that allow this.

A poor comparison. A hcp chooses whether to go to a pub or not. They still have to go into work. It's about minimising footfall in hospitals.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in