Bait and switch birthing facilities

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

For most women, the birth of their child tops the list of the most beautiful moments in a lifetime of experiences. However, occasionally there are complications that make the birthing process difficult. For expectant mothers, finding the right medical facility, provider, and birthing staff are key elements of a successful birth, yet even those aspects can sometimes be less than perfect. For one young mother, her decision to move to a birthing facility that she believed was more attentive and holistic led to a horrific experience.

In what has been termed a “bait and switch” type of maternity care, a young mother found herself the victim of overly aggressive medical intervention. In her recent interview with Yahoo Parenting, the mother tells a story of being sold a more holistic approach to the birthing process but being given a totally different and damaging treatment.

The victim, a 35-year-old mother of four, switched birthing facilities during her last pregnancy to one that offered the promise of a personalized birthing plan. However, the evening she delivered her son was anything but personalized. In her interview, the mother says she felt disempowered and suffered major injury during the delivery due to the staff’s aggressive treatment. The mother is now filing a medical malpractice lawsuit for the personal injury and mental and emotional trauma she endured during her stay at the facility.

This mother’s story sounds eerily familiar to many other women who have come forward with tales of their own birthing nightmares. Many of the cases of what is being called obstetric violence involve facilities marketing natural birthing techniques without having any connection to their actual practices.

This mother and others like her have come forward with claims of being coerced and forced into aggressive medical interventions they did not want or agree to receive. Many of these victims have chosen to file complaints and medical malpractice claims against the facilities and doctors responsible for their injuries. It is the hope of these women and their advocates and attorneys, that by drawing attention to this issue, it may help force change in the area of maternity care.

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