Paula Carpintero Páez: Birth Violence: An Invisible Practice

Paula Carpintero Páez: Birth Violence: An Invisible Practice

This year it's a marathon TV3 She chose to focus on reproductive and sexual health, I want to use this topic to talk about violence during childbirth, which is often silenced but at the same time very frequent for many women in their daily lives.

To start, I will explain what this concept means. Gender violence is a type of gender-based violence that is defined as the appropriation of women's bodies and reproductive processes by health professionals, which is expressed in inhumane hierarchical treatment, in the misuse of medical treatment and the transformation of natural processes into diseases, leading to To lose the ability to reproduce. Independence and the ability to freely decide about their bodies and sexuality, which negatively affects women's quality of life.

Today, violence during childbirth is a serious global public health problem. This puts the biological and psychosocial safety of mothers and children at risk. In fact, the World Health Organization had previously issued a warning in 2014, when it issued a statement with the aim of warning and eliminating disrespect during maternity care in health centres, on a global level. According to this report, this has recently emerged through the testimonies and experiences of many women who stated that Violence is not “overt” as it is understood, but nevertheless, these situations can be experienced as acts or omissions of violence towards them.

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In terms of its legislation and recognition, Venezuela was the first country in Latin America To classify violence during childbirth as a crime in 2007, in the Basic Law on the Right of Women to a Life Free of Violence, in Articles 15 and 51. For its part, in Argentina, Law No. 25989, Humanized Birth, was issued on September 17, 2004, defining the rights of the mother and newborn, and of the father and mother in the event of a danger to the newborn. Since April 1, 2009, Law No. 26.485, Comprehensive Protection Law to Prevent, Punish and Eliminate Violence against Women in the Areas in Which Their Personal Relationships Develop, complements what was previously mentioned in Article 6.

How is this type of violence presented? Some examples may not respond in a timely manner and effective emergencies; Forcing a woman to give birth in a position or place that is uncomfortable for her when there is no other alternative; – Obstructing the child’s early bond with his mother, without justifiable reason, and depriving him of the possibility of carrying and breastfeeding her; Altering the natural process of low-risk childbirth, through the use of acceleration techniques, without obtaining the woman's voluntary, explicit and informed consent; Birth by caesarean section, when there are conditions for natural birth, without the woman's voluntary, explicit and informed consent, among other things.

In many cases, it may be difficult for a woman to determine whether what is happening to her constitutes violence. Inappropriate treatment includes obstetric practice without consent and the most psychological and emotional part, which can be a lack of feeling recognized or respected regarding their decisions or demands.

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Psychological generative violence also manifests itself in inhumane treatment due to discrimination, Harassing or criticizing a woman or her child. Therefore, it is a priority to respect each woman's privacy, and avoid possible birth trauma, a type of post-traumatic stress associated with an increased risk of postpartum depression, as well as bad experiences in subsequent pregnancies. It is not only a result of medical malpractice, but it comes from male-centered medicine that has always oppressed women in various ways in reproductive and sexual health care.

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