Congratulations first of all! Not everyone can achieve what you have right now. I am in my mid twenties and I’m here wishing to be on the same boat as you are, but yeah my turn will come.
As a soon to be mum, I’d like to share with you what medical negligence means to you and me, to us women who will be pregnant sometime in our lives. It’s nothing to be scared of but something a responsible person should know and hopefully, something we can share with everyone concerned.As you know, medical negligence have always been there and recently, its increasingly known to the public. In today’s busy and fast paced world, health is becoming more important to our lives and it rapidly makes us all realize that we need to stop and check our well-being. In short, health is at last treated more as gold nowadays. People are paying more for insurance, legal matters, and of course health services but the real concern is, are we really getting the service we deserve? Being responsible for our health is one thing but what do we make of the doctors’ and nurses’ roles in our lives?
We are all now well aware of the the terms “malpractice”, “negligence” and “error” that used to be words that are hardly associated with health and medicine, let alone pregnancy itself.
The news would feature from time to time cases from hospitals about unsatisfactory services or even unfortunate death that people need to confront due to incompetent staff or simply carelessness of some. Online, people would also even share videos featuring surgeries that have gone wrong or stories of ordinary people like you and me meeting their most challenging feats that come with medical negligence. I’m sure you too have heard a story or even have an experience of your own. Why does this happen?
The medical errors that women suffer for an instance. In child birth alone, is but highly preventable but still is sadly happening all around the world. The care given to a child rearing woman also affects the child in her womb. Its sad to know that a mother or a baby can die due to giving birth which used to be a very natural process long before time.
Some medical practitioners sadly take child birth for granted or perhaps, having under staff in delivery rooms also play a factor in the cases of neglect for our expecting mothers. I would never forget my days as a student in a public hospital delivery room. We have almost 20 women in labor all at the same time with only less than 10 staff to look after them and that includes people who are in the actual delivery area and recovery room. One particular patient who is surprisingly a minor, began shouting so loud that her voice surfaced above the other women screaming with pain. To our surprise, her baby’s head is already coming out as this girl tries to do things on her own not getting the attention she deserves. This is a sign of negligence in our part; though we did not intend not to give her the care she deserves, what can we do? Luckily nothing bad happened and we were able to rush the 14 year old girl into labor room and she did deliver a healthy baby boy. But what if the story did not end that way? Who is responsible? What should we have done better? Medial negligence comes in many forms, it can stem directly in a practitioner who just doesn’t care or maybe is circumstantial which the entire organization needs to address.
Medical errors happen everyday, in different forms, different situations, committed by anyone, unintentionally, or sadly, unavoidably. Sadly these days, we seem to play the blame game and make money out of the tragic situations; everything is commercialized that sometimes feelings and wishes of people involved are put aside just to put a spotlight on these medical error cases.
As a healthcare staff what can we do? As always said and done, start changing the world yourself by doing the right thing. In every organization, every area of practice, there are loop holes, there are system glitches and whether or not we are aware that there is something wrong, don’t be afraid to do what’s right. Be different, do it for humanity. If not for a few brave nurses and doctors in Stafford Hospital UK, the trail of medical malpractice and deaths among the patients won’t stop. To follow the wrong doings or not to care at all is not supposed to be the traits of anyone who serves people especially if we are handling lives.
Things to remember when conceiving
As for us pregnant women, or to anyone planning to conceive, how can we avoid being a victim of medical malpractice? Be responsible that’s all.
1. Take pregnancy seriously. Take time planning, make sure you are 100% ready: emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially.
- Be sure you are surrounded by people that can support you during the course of your pregnancy. Never go through this alone; it doesn’t have to be your parents, your partner or your friends, if you are away from everybody, there are a lot of support groups around such as Samaritans or Mumsnet (USA)/ Netmums (UK) that you can ring anytime and they have people like you and me who are willing to listen and talk to you. You never know the support you have unless you look for it yourself.
- Keep yourself as healthy as possible. Be conscious of what you take in and learn to listen to your body. Do not starve nor overeat with unnecessary food. Eat healthy; there are loads of recipes and suggested menus online, in print and even on TV. Aside from your diet, remember to exercise as well. Move as usual as you have been before you got pregnant. It is more difficult this time but keeping your body fit will help a lot during your delivery.
- Make sure you have saved a reasonable amount of money for your pregnancy. Even if you have free healthcare or have insurance to cover everything, saving an emergency fund is always a wise move. It’s not a nice experience to limit your budget when expecting.
- Take time to go to church, meditate, or do anything that makes you feel better internally. Be at peace with yourself and avoid being pessimistic about things, hormones are working towards mood changes but you are a better player in keeping your soul uplifted.
2. Don’t settle for less when it comes to your healthcare provider.
- Ask your family and friends for reliable doctors and specialists. Never go for the cheapest or for someone you found randomly online.
- Go for someone you feel comfortable with. Meet and greet your doctor and gauge whether you are happy to see this person for the rest of your 9 month pregnancy period.
- Choose someone who takes their time to get to know you and someone who really cares. Trust your instincts this time.
3. Take initiative. Be informed.
- Grab a book, a tablet, your Kindle or laptop in bed once in a while rather than having the same old TV show or watching all the movies there is. Read interesting articles on pregnancy, parenting, and everything that you find helpful to your current milestone.
- Listen to people who know best. Your doctor, your friend who’s a mother of 4, your mum, anyone who have something to share about what your experiencing today.
- Keep a journal. Write something. You can jot down what you feel right now. If you love music, write a song. If you are more on poems, compose one. Keep a page for your questions that you can later on answer through research or asking an expert. Later on your journal will be one of the best gifts you can give your child.
4. Smile, keep a happy disposition.
- Stop worrying and start doing productive things. If there’s a time you can enrich your hobbies, its this time. Keep aside thoughts about work and problems. Pregnancy is the time to celebrate the life you are carrying inside you. Cook if you love cooking, sketch if you’re an artist, write if it keeps you inspired, anything that interests you.
- Never forget that pregnancy is a gift, a blessing. Be thankful and be happy about it. If you’re not, then maybe this is not for you. Raising a child starts from pregnancy and as they say, a happy home starts with mom.
There are a lot of things to remember during pregnancy. Too many parenting books you can read, too many advice to take. But what matters most is you. Do what makes you feel good. After all, pregnancy should be a wonderful experience every woman is privileged to experience.
Nothing is perfect and sometimes things can be the spotless happy ending we want. But what can we do? It’s doing nothing that creates the biggest damage. Mothers carry the biggest responsibility to maintain a happy home don’t you think? We are powerful more than you think. Don’t let medical malpractice happen to you or your child. Be vigilant, be informed. Don’t let ignorance give you an excuse to be one of the victims of low quality health services that you don’t deserve. Don’t blame other people, its not healthy either, help yourself first and for sure, everything will be more positive.
P.S Smile soon to be mom! Remember that this should be the happiest moments of your family life, cherish it and remember it forever as you watch your precious grow 🙂