“I Would Have Stayed Home if I Could Manage It Alone”: A Case Study of Ethiopian Mother Abandoned by Care Providers During Facility-Based Childbirth

Yohannes Mehretie Adinew, Janet Kelly, Amy Marshall, Helen Hall

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Abstract

Background: Every woman is entitled to respectful care during pregnancy and childbirth as a basic human right. However, not all women are being treated equally well. Case Presentation: This case study highlights some of the common disrespectful practices that women face. This is a testimony of a 28-year-old mother of two, narrated in her own words. The data were collected during an in-depth interview in November 2019. The interview was conducted in her house and her name has been changed to protect her identity. The interview was audio-taped using a digital voice recorder, later transcribed, and translated verbatim from the local language – Amharic, to English. Conclusion: This woman’s story highlights the unfortunate reality for some women. Five themes emerged from her narrative: denial of care: the provider left her unattended at a critical moment and denied her the care that she came for; non-consented care: she did not consent to the episiotomy; non-dignified care: she was carried by her arms and legs to the delivery couch, and left naked and bleeding on the couch after birth; taking a sick baby home without medical assistance: she was forced to leave the hospital even though her child had breathing difficulties and was not able to suck or breastfeed; and loss of trust in care providers: for her second birth this woman went to a facility where a relative works, as she no longer trusted these providers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-507
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Women's Health
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Birthing centers
  • Ethiopia
  • Human rights abuses
  • Refusal to treat
  • Respect

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