Doctors often do not ask permission for medical procedures from women who have given birth

For many, having a child is the most beautiful day of their lives, but at the same time also one that involves a lot. You often don’t just bring a descendant into the world. There are also different actions involved. But what do you want when you give birth and what not? Research by PhD student Marit van der Pijl of the Amsterdam UMC now shows that permission is not asked from (expectant) mothers for every procedure.

Sometimes it also happens that the delivery starts earlier than you might think. Last month, for example, a woman gave birth before she managed to reach the hospital. At the exit of the A13 motorway in Delft. Coincidentally, a baby was born there five years earlier.

Injection after giving birth

11,418 women participated in the study and they completed a questionnaire. This concerned how often and for which actions consent was not requested for an intervention when giving birth. This revealed, among other things, that consent was often not requested for an injection after childbirth. Such an injection causes the uterus to contract. In almost half of the cases, no permission was requested. Not asking permission was also common when making a so-called cut to enlarge the vagina: in more than four out of ten women.

On the other hand, there are also actions where permission is often requested. For a vaginal examination, an introduction and for a (already planned) caesarean section, for example.

Discuss in advance

“Women sometimes feel they have less control and less choice, which can lead to a negative childbirth experience. According to the PhD student, more awareness about informed consent is really necessary,” the hospital writes in response to the research results on its own site. Care providers and expectant mothers should discuss the delivery in advance, says Van der Pijl.

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Doctors often do not ask permission for medical procedures from women who have given birth

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