4 women share their appalling experience with Ghanaian maternity wards

Pregnancy is an already traumatizing experience for most women. It is not as rosy as it is mostly portrayed on the internet. The events before, during and after a pregnancy is enough to send a woman into Post-partum depression which is a very serious condition that has caused many women to lose their lives after child birth.

We talked to a couple of Ghanaian women to find the most out of touch situations they have encountered during their childbirth here in Ghana and this is what they had to say:

Juliana- I almost gave birth to my child on the WC

I went to the hospital to have my first child. I had no idea you are supposed to wait a while for your contractions to be some minutes apart before you head to the hospital and neither did my husband. We drove in as soon as my water broke. When we entered, the hotel receptionist, the ones that sit behind the desk and look for your file? Yeah, she told me to sit down and wait for my turn. My husband got pissed and went to look for a bed for me. He finally found one and we were told that the doctor will come around a set time to check on all the women. Mind you, it was one doctor taking care of about 14-17 women in labour that night. After the doctor left, the nurses disappeared too and I told my husband I felt like using the washroom so he escorted me there. I tried to sit down it felt like there was a ball between my legs so I started shouting and my husband went to call the nurses. They immediately started shouting at me. One kept telling me I am very daft (would rather not use the words she used) and almost killed my child. I can not handle being shouted at so I started crying and my husband came to my aid. I went to lay down and they called the doctor back in. The baby popped out 5 minutes after the doctor arrived. My baby’s very healthy but sometimes I think about what could have happened.

Anonymous – I was shamed for not shaving

Let me explain. My child’s father was never in the picture and I braved through my pregnancy alone. My mother used to come around but it was not that frequent because I got pregnant out of wedlock. I was totally caught off guard at the time the baby came. I had explained my situation about not being able to shave because of the baby bump and she told me it was acceptable not to shave before birth. Fast forward to my labour time, when I got to the hospital , the nurses were helping me change and and they were chuckling. One even shouted ‘Ei’. I honestly thought my body looked weird until I saw that they were all looking at the same place. It was not excessively bushy because I am basically a br3nya everywhere. It was the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me till date.

Nana Ama – They told me to shut up when I was in pain

It was my second child and I did not understand why I was in so much pain. I was with my mother and she could tell that something was wrong since I was acting different. The pain got so unbearable. I was vomiting and peeing at the same time. It was too much so I started screaming. These 3 midwives told me to shut up because apparently I was disturbing their peace of mind. They said I was only two cm dilated when the doctor checked so I wasn’t even anywhere close to the actual pain. Luckily for me, the doctor came around and checked me. He asked them why I was not on the labor bed yet because the baby was coming. They were reprimanded by the doctor and my mom also gave them a talking to after.

Emmy – I was smacked multiple times

I do not know if this is acceptable everywhere but I just had to share. I had my first baby at 19. I was immediately met with judging looks when I entered. I could see them checking my fingers for a ring or any indication that I was married. I automatically started feeling insecure. During my labor, it was extremely hard and I was having trouble pushing. The midwife standing beside me started smacking my thighs. I was wondering how more pain was going to get me through the already painful experience. I just wanted it to be over so I pushed as hard as I could and it finally ended. I know it is common for women to forget labor pain but I can never forget what happened in that labor ward.

To the healthcare workers who are doing their work with the diligence and seriousness it’s due, we commend you and we urge you to keep up the good work.

To end, the treatments meted to patients especially women in labor only bring us to one pertinent question that need to be answered. How efficient is the healthcare system in this country?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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