Seeking Safe Delivery, Many Women Find Abuse

In low- and middle-income countries, verbal and physical abuse of women seeking obstetric care is “widespread and pervasive” in the very facilities meant to ensure a safe delivery, write Kirsten Austad and colleagues.

Despite global efforts to promote facility-based birthing with skilled attendants, more than half of women worldwide deliver at home without one.

To address the issue, a pilot program deployed “care navigators” in Guatemala, where maternal mortality among indigenous women is double the overall rate. Designating individuals to liaise between patients, midwives, and biomedical providers deflected abuse from hospital staff and offered a “humanistic barrier” to hospital care.

BioMed Central

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