Identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.13003/15495
Obstetric violence: the perspective of women who have suffered it
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CitationLlobera Cifre R, Ferrer Perez VA, Chela Alvarez X. Obstetric violence: the perspective of women who have suffered it. Investig Fem. 2019;10(1):167-84.
Obstetric violence is a dehumanized treatment, a disproportionate and inexorably medicalized intervention of the natural process of pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium. It is considered an infringement of women rights and has an impact on their health. This is a new conceptualization of an old problem, based on sexist and institutional violence. This article explores the perspectives and the experiences of women exposed to obstetric violence. We conducted 12 semi-structured interviews, using a phenomenological approach. Ours results indicates that dehumanized, disrespectful, and hierarchical treatment, along with insufficient care were on many occasions, the basis of the endured obstetric violence. Despite the existence of recommendations from different governmental and international organizations, unjustifiable clinical practices are performed. Moreover, an inadequate physical environment does not favour the physiological development of obstetric procedures. Transgressing autonomy and information rights is a fundamental source of distress for the interviewed women. Rights awareness and the demanding attitude has its foundation in obstetric violence experiences and sharing those experiences with other women. The interviewed participants had agency capacity, but because of the institutional context they were not always capable of making their decisions effectively. In conclusion, obstetric violence, with all its dimensions, is negatively related with the experiences and the emotions of reproductive health process. This study provides disclosure on perceptions and opinions of women suffering violence in the obstetric services, and the impact on their lives.