‘It Felt Like I Had Been Violated’: How Obstetric Violence Can Traumatize Patients


Caitlin Larson’s first labor was proceeding smoothly. She’d had a healthy pregnancy, and she said her son had come down the birth canal “beautifully.” She’d only been in labor for eight hours. But the mood in the delivery room changed when her baby started to crown.

Larson didn’t know her doctor or nurses, and she was exhausted. At one point, she started hyperventilating.

“They said if I didn’t control my breathing, they’d take me to the operating room” for a c-section, Larson said. “Of course that’s terrifying.”

Although her baby had only been crowning for 20 minutes and wasn’t showing signs of distress, her doctor said her son was “stuck,” as her skin hadn’t stretched enough. He announced he was going to cut her.

— Read the full story here. —

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