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Pinay Moms Share Their Best and Worst Childbirth Experiences: 'I Wish I Was Not Induced'
  • A recent study found that nearly one in six women in the United States feel they have been mistreated during childbirth. The study, which was published in the Reproductive Health journal, surveyed more than 2,000 women who revealed that they felt they were not in control of their birth experience.

    Seventeen percent reported being yelled at, scolded, threatened, ignored, violated, and/or denied help during labor and delivery, according to a report by Huffington Post. Also, the survey found that women who had unplanned Cesarean sections (CS) or “instrumental vaginal births” were more likely to be mistreated than those who gave birth naturally.

    In the Philippines, many women now know about the advantages of drawing up a birth plan with their doctor to take charge of their childbirth experience. Pinay moms are openly discussing their choices and making sure that everyone on their birthing team (ob-gyn, pediatrician, anesthesiologist, nurses, and other medical staff or the midwife) is onboard and supportive of their decisions.

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    We asked members of our Facebook group, Smart Parenting Village, to share their experiences giving birth in the Philippines.

    Filipina moms generally trust their doctors and are happy with how they were treated during pregnancy and childbirth

    “Kahit sobrang ingay ko that day and first-time mom, tinuruan nila ako how to ease the pain, and pinagbigyan nila akong papasukin si hubby,” shares Angel Garcia. “All throughout nakabantay ‘yung nurse sa’kin sa OR (operating room).”

    “I didn’t have a birth plan, but my OB presented and explained well what happens if I’ll have a normal delivery or CS,” says Mira Villanueva-Ilao. “I really prayed and prepared to have a normal and safe delivery with a normal and healthy baby, and I’m so thankful that my OB took care of me with God’s grace.”

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    “Satisfied with my OB, [but] sad lang ako na ayaw niya ng bikini cut (I had a C-section scheduled),” shares Melanie Lawang. “My husband was with me sa loob ng OR. Pagka-baby out, isa si hubby sa mga unang nakakita kay baby. Paglabas ko ng recovery room, kasama ko na agad si baby — room in agad-agad! Overall, I am super happy with the whole team. Alaga talaga ako.”

    For mom Kaye De Guzman’s childbirth experience, everything went smoothly. “We had a birth plan; however, we were flexible with whatever the birth team would do during the process. That’s how much we trusted them,” she says. “Thankfully, it went how we wanted it to be. We were really happy with the doctors, nurses, staff. Mataas ang standard of service nila. We never felt we were neglected.”

    “I’m satisfied with my OB. Since my first check-up with her until my childbirth, I could feel that she cares for me and my baby,” shares Anna Maureen. “I delivered my baby via ECS (elective C-section), and she always assured me that my baby and I will be okay. I was also very happy with the hospital nurses [because] they were very supportive [of] my breastfeeding.”

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    Filipina moms would appreciate, however, a little more ‘lambing’ from hospital staff

    Childbirth can be a difficult, sometimes, terrifying experience. While moms shared that they had a pleasant experience with their ob-gyns, they cannot always say the same for their birthing team.

    “Sana si resident OB e medyo may lambing ng konti,” says Bless Tenorio. “Parang kasalanan ko pang na-stuck ako sa 6cm. I understand na pagod siya and had to wait for my OB (kasi may clinic si Doc until 7 p.m.), pero kasi hindi nakakatulong ‘yung tatarayan mo subtly ang babaeng nag-le-labor.”

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    “I gave birth much earlier than expected, so I still had mani-pedi [nail polish on my hands and feet]. When I was wheeled in the ER, I heard the nurses laughing, and saying, ‘Isa pa ito, alam naman na manganganak na, nag-pa-polish pa! Tigas ng ulo.’ Since I was in excruciating pain, I did not bother commenting back,” shares San Sai. “Fast forward to when I already gave birth, ubos na dextrose ko and had called the nurses station a couple of times. Then I saw my blood being sucked upward na, that’s when I panicked. Finally, a nurse came in, muttering, ‘Ma’am, hindi ka po mamamatay kaunting blood lang ‘yan!’ Unfortunately, she was the same nurse who removed the polish from my hands.”

    “Staff and attending doctor were masungit and do not give enough info before they went ahead with any procedure,” shares Romhelyn Benipayo. “I know they’ve assisted during birth a hundred times and they’ve memorized everything already, but it was my first time. I didn’t know what to expect.”

    “I had my first childbirth at a private provincial hospital and my latest childbirth at a private hospital. While mas personal ang approach ng OB sa provincial, when it came to the actual birth, I felt more taken cared of sa private hospital where they explained everything to me clearlym and I felt na focused sila when I was having my CS,” shared one mom who wished to remain anonymous. “Now that I have a point of comparison, the first [childbirth] felt all wrong.”

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    Filipina moms learn from their first childbirth and are inspired to take more control for succeeding births

    For many first-time moms, their childbirth experience was something unexpected, whether it’s because of an emergency C-section or premature birth. These circumstances, however, empowered moms on our Village to plan for their succeeding births, now that they had a better understanding of their bodies.

    “If magkaka-baby ulit ako, gusto ko mag-undergo ng natural delivery, ‘yung walang induce na mangyayari,” shares Angel. “Based on my experience kasi, mas ok ‘yung hindi pinipilit lumabas si baby, and nakaka-stress ‘yon for me and my baby.”

    “With my first, I should have been more vocal during the delivery. I should’ve asked them to stop doing the fundal push (it was more painful than the delivery itself!), [but] I thought it was necessary,” shares Karen Joyce.

    “Siguro ang gusto ko lang baguhin ay ‘yung thinking na hindi porket mamahalin or well-known ang hospital ay okay lahat ang doctor,” says Mhean Cos. “Better to research and ask for recommendations. Kung feel ko na agad hindi okay yung doctor, sana lumipat na ako agad.”

    How was your childbirth experience? Were you satisfied or would you have wanted to change anything? Share it with us in the comments or email us at smartparenting2013@gmail.com!

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