This podcast episode explores the topic of obstetric violence and its impact on women’s birthing experiences.

The guest, Dr. Hazel Keedle, discusses the definition of obstetric violence and provides examples of mistreatment and neglect by healthcare providers.

The conversation highlights the importance of informed consent and the need for clinicians to engage in open and honest communication with women.

The role of different models of care in reducing obstetric violence is also explored, with a focus on the strengths and limitations of each model.

The episode concludes with a discussion on the importance of consumer demand in driving change in the healthcare system.

This episode discusses the New South Wales birth inquiry and the submission made by the birth experience study.

The inquiry was a result of multiple factors, including the work of consumer organizations and the acceptance of the Obstetric Violence paper.

Emma Hurst, a psychologist and politician, played a significant role in initiating the inquiry. The hearings for the inquiry have taken place in Sydney and Wollongong, with more to come.

The select committee is working on the recommendations, which are expected to be released in February. The impact of the inquiry has been felt internationally, with interest from other countries.

Takeaways

  • Obstetric violence is a form of mistreatment and neglect by healthcare providers during the perinatal period. 
  • Informed consent is crucial in ensuring women have agency and control over their birthing experiences.
  • Building trust and open communication between clinicians and women is essential in reducing obstetric violence.
  • Different models of care have varying rates of obstetric violence, with continuity of care models showing lower rates.
  • Consumer demand plays a significant role in driving change and improving the birthing experience for women. The birth inquiry in New South Wales was initiated by multiple factors, including the work of consumer organizations and the acceptance of the Obstetric Violence paper.
  • Emma Hurst, a psychologist and politician, played a significant role in initiating the inquiry and has shown a genuine interest in addressing birth trauma.
  • The hearings for the inquiry have taken place in Sydney and Wollongong, with more to come in Wagga. The select committee is working on recommendations, which are expected to be released in February.
  • The impact of the inquiry has been felt internationally, with interest from other countries in conducting similar inquiries.

Resources and Links:

What women want if they were to have another baby: the Australian Birth Experience Study (BESt) cross-sectional national survey – Read here

A content analysis of women’s experiences of different models of maternity care: the Birth Experience Study (BESt)  – Read here

More on Hazel Keedle:

Find Hazel on Instagram here

Timestamps:

00:00: Chapters 

02:19: Introduction

05:12: Guest Introduction

07:27: Understanding Obstetric Violence

10:18: Examples of Obstetric Violence

12:11: Birth Trauma and Obstetric Violence

13:37: Challenges in Identifying Obstetric Violence

14:57: The Impact of Language and Communication

17:44: The Importance of Informed Consent

19:07: Engaging with Clinicians

21:34: Promoting Safe Practices

23:55:The Disconnect in Healthcare

26:20:The Impact of Fear and Risk-Based Care

27:45:The Need for Individual Reflection

29:10: Empowering Women to Advocate for Themselves

32:25 Building Trust in Healthcare

35:25 The Role of Model of Care

38:12 The Lack of Informed Consent

41:31: The Challenges in the System

44:00 The Strengths and Limitations of Different Models of Care

48:41 The Importance of Consumer Demand

51:57 The Additional Layers of Obstetric Violence

52:56 The Birth Inquiry and Submission

53:25 The New South Wales Birth Inquiry

54:24 Multiple Factors Leading to the Inquiry

Collaboration with Emma Hurst

54:53 Change of Government and Different Ears Listening

55:24 Agreement for an Inquiry

55:53 Political Considerations

56:22 Excitement and Hope for the Inquiry

57:18 Encouraging Submissions and Media Coverage

57:46 Submission Closing and Hearings Begin

58:45 The Work of the Inquiry Team

59:41 Hearings in Wollongong and Adelaide

01:00:38 Sharing Stories of Trauma and Loss

01:01:36 Upcoming Hearings and Report of Recommendations

01:02:06 International Interest in the Inquiry

01:04:02 The Altruistic Act of Sharing Stories

01:06:01 The Snowball Effect and Planting Seeds

01:07:28 Different Perspectives in the Select Committee

01:09:25 The Process and Impact of the Inquiry

01:10:22 Supporting the Process and Open Communication

01:12:14 The Obstetric Violence Paper and Submission

01:13:09 The Birth Experience Study and International Collaboration

01:14:08 Healing and Hope

 

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