How safe is your newborn?
Mom sues after her newborn baby is left to fall on the floor.
Image: via Shutterstock
Birth can be a time of celebration- welcoming your baby into
the world after months of hoping and waiting- or it can be a time of pain and
trauma. This mom had one of the worst birth experiences imaginable, when, in
serious pain herself after giving birth in a hospital corridor, her newborn
baby sustained injuries when it fell on the floor, according to News24.
Handle with care?
The distraught mother has sued the Thusanong hospital in
Odendaalsrus after she had to undergo three painful surgeries in order to
repair tearing she had sustained while in labour. Besides suing the hospital, she
has also sued the Congolese doctor who carried out the allegedly botched
A newborn infant is obviously vulnerable to any sort of
violent trauma, and in this case, a fall on the floor was enough for the
newborn to receive a painful welcome into the world.
While a hospital birth is supposed to provide care for the
mom and baby during labour, Mapitso Mokhuane was left to wait for a long time
before she was assisted, and then left to give birth on her own. After delivery,
the baby fell on the floor.
Hospital care in SA is extremely varied: Some moms report
happy birth experiences, while others endure nightmares, sometimes so bad that
their babies die as a result of negligence, particularly when the babies are
exposed to bugs when handled by nursing staff not following correct hygiene procedures.
How can you avoid a hospital birth trauma?
- A friendly visit: Most hospitals will allow expectant moms
to visit their facilities so that they can know what to expect. Unfortunately,
overworked and understaffed state hospitals may not have the time to show an
expectant mom around.
- Take time to prepare: Make sure to use the months leading up
to birth to inform yourself about birth plans and choices, including whether or
not to involve a midwife or doula (birth partner), home birth vs. hospital
birth and, for some moms, the Caesarean option.
- Make sure you have someone with you to help out if you can’t
be sure that nursing staff will take care of your baby. That way, if the ward
is short-staffed, or if something unusual happens, you will have someone who
can hold the baby while you are being taken care of.
- If you know someone else who has to rely on very basic hospital
services, offer to be there for support during and after the birth.
- The hospital in question denies any wrongdoing, but it does
make sense to make sure that what should be a happy moment isn’t turned into
one of pain and trauma by checking the facilities before you book yourself in
for the big day.
How would you rate your hospital birth, on a scale of one to
Suggest a vote