Report by MPs: Hospitals Concealing Failures, Leading to Traumatic Births

Report by MPs Hospitals Concealing Failures, Leading to Traumatic Births

London (Parliament News) – UK birth trauma investigation finds women mocked, disregarded, fobbed off with paracetamol and left permanently impaired.

What have MPs discovered about women’s birth experiences?

Women in labour have been bullied, ignored, fobbed off with paracetamol and left with endless damage by midwives and doctors, while hospitals covered up their losses, a damning report by MPs has found.

Mothers have been left mourning post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), unable to bond with their infants and too incapacitated to go back to the job because of horrendous experiences while having a kid, the UK’s first inquiry into birth trauma discovered.

Poor childbirth care is so familiar, and its consequences so dangerous, that ministers and NHS bosses need to push through significant modifications to how maternity staff look after the 600,000 women a year who give birth in England, the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for birth trauma stated.

How common is birth trauma, according to the report?

The report summarises how 1,311 women who had a traumatic birth told the investigation“harrowing” stories about how they had mourned a stillbirth, premature birth or had a newborn with cerebral palsy because they were divested of oxygen during labour or ended up with life-changing damages caused by severe tearing.

In many of these cases, the trauma was induced by mistakes and failures made before and during labour. Frequently, these mistakes were covered up by hospitals who frustrated parents’ struggles to find answers,” the APPG’s 80-page report stated.

“There were also many reports of care that lacked compassion, including women not being listened to when they felt something was wrong, being mocked or yelled at and being denied basic needs such as pain relief. Women frequently felt they were subjected to interventions they had not consented to, and many felt they had not been given enough information to make decisions during birth.

“The poor quality of postnatal care was an almost universal theme. Women shared stories of being left in bloodstained sheets or of ringing the bell for help but no one coming,” it contended.

What are the consequences of traumatic births for women?

One in three women who have a child bear a traumatic birth, while nearly 30,000 women a year in the UK – 4% to 5% of those who give birth – generate PTSD, the report stated. Birth trauma guides to “difficulty in bonding with the baby, stress on the relationship with their partner and wider family and, often, an inability to return to work”. Some women described to the cross-party group how injuries they had upheld while giving birth had left them with “a lifetime of misery and bowel incontinence. Many of these women could no longer work and described their injuries as having destroyed their sense of self-worth.

What are the key recommendations of the MPs’ report?

“Other women wrote movingly of having to provide round-the-clock care for children left severely disabled as a result of birth injuries,” the MPs expressed.

Their suggestions include advice to the government to designate a maternity commissioner, who reports to the prime minister; develop specialist postnatal services that give women a “safe space to speak about their incidents in childbirth”; compel hospitals to offer antenatal classes at which childbirth’s risks are concerned; and give mothers-to-be pain relief when they request for it. The inquiry was led by the Conservative MP Theo Clarke and the Labour MP Rosie Duffield.

Massimiliano  Verde

Massimiliano Verde is a journalist at Parliament News, He is covering Society and Culture News. Boasting a Master's Degree in Political Science, stands as a prominent figure in the Italian cultural landscape. His presidency of the Neapolitan Academy, a scientifically and sociolinguistically renowned group, attests to his relentless dedication to safeguarding and promoting Neapolitan language and culture. His activism and profound expertise have propelled him into the role of interlocutor for UNESCO as part of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032), a prestigious acknowledgment highlighting the significance of his efforts in preserving the linguistic and cultural diversity of our planet.

Verde's fervent passion for the history and culture of Southern Italy has driven him to immerse himself in research, resulting in numerous essays and articles that delve into the peculiarities and beauties of the region. His commitment extends beyond academia, manifesting in ongoing dissemination activities aimed at acquainting the general public with the rich cultural heritage of the South. His endeavors transcend national boundaries, as evidenced by his participation in international conferences and collaboration with various foreign institutions, rendering him an ambassador of Southern culture on the global stage and fostering intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding.