Hands Out of the Uterus Please

Recently an ICAN mom had a successful hospital VBAC!  It sounded like quite a battle, but she succeeded.  Good for her!  Good for her baby!  I am so proud of this mom.

She suffered a post-partum hemorrhage which leaves me puzzled, alarmed, and angry.  Evidently this doctor manually checked her uterine scar.  This means that he reached into her uterus (which had been quite busy contracting and bleeding during labor and delivery) to check the scar FROM THE INSIDE.  Now, that’s got to hurt.

So here are some of my questions:

  1. Was the hemorrhage caused by the manual exam?
  2. Did this doctor do this on purpose to hurt the mother?
  3. Wouldn’t an exam such as this, and after the uterine muscles are tired and blood vessels are swollen, possibly introduce pathogens into the woman’s body that could affect her health and the health of her nursling?
  4. Shouldn’t this doctor be charged with assault and stripped of his privileges if he is found guilty of patient abuse?

I am spitting mad about this.

4 responses to “Hands Out of the Uterus Please

  1. I don’t know why he did this? And what are the benefits of it? I have heard of this happening from other moms but I had 2 VBACs and they never checked my uterus afterwards. I too wonder what the purpose is!

  2. This practice was done frequently 30 years ago, as doctors would check for scar integrity. It stopped when they realized that they were causing hemorrhage. I too…am angry about this outcome with this mother. Without clear evidence to the contrary, this IS abuse.

    It is well known that the uterus is thin at the time of delivery. How easy to poke a finger through…

    How very easy.

  3. I love your color choices on your blog page first of all. Nice work.
    now a soap box statement………..

    Doctors need to go back to school apparently, and since they don’t follow sound scientific standards in their handling of birth, these issues will continue to haunt woman.

    I’m was boiled over about the vbac ban when I first heard abotu this absurdity (my wife and I had one c-section and 3 vbacs) until I realized what this really is about and what it most likely will do to women.

    First this is about losing money. C-sectioned women will want a better birth experience and will want to leave the doctors who they previously birthed with. So the male domination corps has gotten together to stop their businesses from losing clients. It took ob/gyns 100 years to run midwives out of town and woman are now screaming about over use of interventions — especially c-sections. Though medicine has improved a great deal, still the safety of childbirth in the hands of male surgeons!!!
    I expect that more c-sectioned women will now actually get so angry they will be empowered to find a better solution, and God knows midwives have never followed state sanctions and rules — look at Moses.

    The more the doctors try and force women back into the stirrups and pitocin driven birth rooms the more women are gonig to seek a gentler birth. Even if it is against the orders of the AMA and ACOG. What’s up doc — ever heard of reverse pyschology.

    Let’s see 1.4 million births in 2007 (30% sectioned) = 420,000 possibly frustrated woman who are told no you can have a vaginal birth and there not being any scientific data showing why!!!!

  4. Phillip, thank you for your comment. It is so refreshing to see men up in arms about this too. After seeing “The Business of Being Born” and doing some research, my husband really “got it” too. We need our partner’s support if we are to fight these issues effectively.

    I am currently pregnant with twins. Risked out of homebirth because of it. The birth center isn’t an option – they don’t take VBACs and they were bought out by our local hospital and shut down. I have no choice, really, but to go to the hospital and have these babies. And yes, I’m scared… and angry…

    Then again, after all I’ve been through these past few years, having two healthy babies (even if it’s at the expense of my own body and feelings) is my goal. I’m having to prepare for a sub-optimal birth experience. Sad, really.

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