10 realities in the labour ward

Hello loyal reader,

Before reading on, you are welcome to cluck here and read the previous blog post in this mini series.

Birth is a miracle. Pregnancy is a beautiful journey – even if your in and out of the bathroom a hundred times in the morning (afternoon and evening too) to vomit or attempted vomit. It is a miracle and a beautiful journey even if your mood swings make you the evil witch of the family and a person no one else — including yourself– can stand. It hurts me to know the end of this beautiful journey, is ruined and turned into a woman’s nightmare when contractions begin and hospital visit is made.

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Photo taken from here 

Here are 10 realities about our labour wards.

  • Midwives insult mothers-to-be complaining of pain. We have all heard and know what some mothers hear from midwives it’s a’yb to even write on this blog. These people shouldn’t even be allowed to practice their job.
  • Midwives don’t listen to the patient. If she politely asks for a ring to be taken off before an internal examination then the ring MUST be taken off
  • Often there aren’t enough doctors on duty- I know of cases where excess bleeding  and nearly death has taken place just because the doctor is busy with another patient.
  • Midwives don’t get training-  Ongoing training on kindness, ethics, patience, and the correct way to deal with new mothers/mothers-to-be is a must
  • No respect to a new mother’s emotional needs- the first person to hold the baby after a C-Section or a natural birth should and must be the MOTHER.
  • Everyone and their cousins and neighbours are there – No new mother welcomes the idea of 12 other women with her when she is giving birth. The husband is enough.
  • Husband isn’t allowed in- On that note, husbands should and MUST be there when a woman gives birth.
  • They just sew it up – A woman’s body is unique and special to her. Whether she is posh and wealthy, or has lived all her life in a humble little village. RESPECT her body. If it’s a C-section make sure the finishing is clean, if it’s an episiotomy also be kind.
  • Lack of privacy – On that note, even in her most difficult and most painful situations a Kurdish woman has her dignity, and needs of privacy. When she gives birth respect that. If you’re a doctor or a midwife its Ok to ask all those in the room, or around her to leave while you do an examination. You don’t just remove covering in front of a crowd.
  • No leaflets, awareness or information sessions – It’s not the end of the world if hospitals implement a two-day workshop for mothers in their 3rd trimester. I am ready to run the workshops voluntarily. But make them compulsory. Let mothers-to-be know what to bring to the hospital, what is the procedure, and what to expect. In the second day give them some key points for caring for their newborn. This is easier said than done because even the hospital itself won’t know the procedures, so how can we expect patients to know?!  (Too often I have seen a tired, exhausted, emotional new mother sitting helpless while ten other women pass around her newborn each making remarks: “Go get sugar and water,” another pulls out clothes and redresses the baby, another woman brings two extra blankets to put on the baby, another forces bottle feeding, while one is pulling the mother’s breast out… “I don’t think you are capable of breastfeeding”) I am not exaggerating. I promise. For a new mother this is emotionally draining.

I don’t blame anyone here. I don’t blame the  doctors, the midwives, or the patients. I blame the system that allows this catastrophe to take place. Shame on all of us for allowing this to take place. We demonstrate everyday for very irrelevant matters but not once do we take the roads and ask from officials for our birthing experience to be one that is respected, looked after and emotionally/ physically easier on us women!

The women in power don’t go to such hospitals to give birth. So they’re unaware of the reality, and the men in power probably have no idea either. Sometimes women need to stand up and speak up for their rights, something as simple as “make my birth experience a true miracle!”

For those who have read my blog for a while now, know that I have two dreams. For our education system to be of high quality and free for all and our health system to be world standards, and equal access with no differentiation between rich and poor.

I promise my next Thursday Thoughts will have happier thoughts. But for now

Lots of love from

My Nest in Kurdistan


Please note, I have been to private hospitals who provide amazing and luxurious maternity services. Of course, even in public healthcare if you have a few contacts you can deliver without any of the above mentioned issue. But here, I am talking about the average everyday Kurdish woman…. not the upper minority. 

2 thoughts on “10 realities in the labour ward

Add yours

  1. Thank you for the bravery to address this issue, the miracle of birth should be a joy, in as far it is possible, for all mothers. It is a sad state of affairs indeed where this does not happen and it is often marred through thoughtlessness and lack of understanding rather than deliberate intention for harm. A little care and understanding across the board would go a long way to rectifying this issue.


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