9 Moms Speak Out About the Horrific Way They Were Treated While Giving Birth (PHOTOS)

exposing the silenceWhile giving birth should be a heartwarming occasion, the sad fact is that some doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals involved in this momentous occasion treat moms so horrifically, it can traumatize them instead. Doula Lindsay Askins and her project partner Cristen Pascucci  ( vice president of Improving Birth and founder of Birth Monopoly ) had heard so many awful stories, they decided to document these experiences of obstetric violence in a project called Exposing the Silence.

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"Working as a doula and seeing and hearing firsthand how pregnant and birthing women are treated, I had the desire to do something significant with my photography, something bigger than myself, something that could contribute to changing our broken maternity care system," says Askins.

And these women need a safe place to air these stories. "Some of these women attempted to share their experience and feelings postpartum with a family member or friend, and it was met with dismissive comments and/or criticism," Askins adds. "In a country where we spend the most money on our maternity care system yet have some of the worst outcomes among all other developed countries and where upwards of one in three women leave childbirth traumatized, something must change. This is our way of bringing this conversation to light in order to further the change."

So far, 47 moms have shared their stories -- a process that helped many of them heal.

"When we first put this out in the social media world, there was an almost immediate response from mothers," Askins continues. "A lot of them had been hurting for years and feeling alone in their feelings. They had no idea other women had been through something similar to what they had experienced. Every single woman who participated in this project was so thankful that she had found a community of other women that understood."

Read their heart-wrenching stories in this slideshow for a glimpse of just how much needs to change before moms receive the dignity and respect they deserve.

 

Image via Lindsay Askins/Spot of Serendipity

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