Tuesday February 25, 2020

Study Finds High Incidences of Abuse of New Mothers During Childbirth

The study also found a high number of caesarean sections, vaginal exams and other procedures being performed without the patient's consent

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Abuse, Mothers, Childbirth
FILE -- A nurse-midwife speaks to pregnant women. A study published in The Lancet found more than one-third of new mothers in four poor countries are abused during childbirth. VOA

More than one-third of new mothers in four poor countries are abused during childbirth, a study published Wednesday in the medical journal The Lancet.

The study, carried out in Ghana, Guinea, Myanmar and Nigeria by the World Health Organization, found that 42% of the women experienced physical or verbal abuse or some form of stigma or discrimination at maternity health facilities.

The study also found a high number of caesarean sections, vaginal exams and other procedures being performed without the patient’s consent.

Of the 2,016 women observed for the study, 14% said they were either hit, slapped or punched during childbirth. Some 38% of the women said they were subjected to verbal abuse, most often by being shouted at, mocked or scolded.

Abuse, Mothers, Childbirth
The study, carried out in Ghana, Guinea, Myanmar and Nigeria by the World Health Organization, found that 42% of the women experienced physical or verbal abuse or some form of stigma. Pixabay

An alarming 75% had episiotomies performed without consent. The procedure involves surgically enlarging the opening of the vagina.

The authors of the study urged officials to hold those who mistreat women during childbirth accountable. They also urged the governments to put into place clear policies and sufficient resources to ensure that women have a safe place to give birth.

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Among the specific steps proposed by the study are: making sure all medical procedures are performed only after getting an informed consent; allowing the patient to have a companion of their choice in the delivery room; redesigning maternity wards to offer the maximum privacy; and making sure no health facility tolerates instances of physical or verbal abuse. (VOA)

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Young Mothers are More Prone To Have Mental Health Problems: Study

Almost 40 per cent of young moms have more than one mental health issue, including depression, a range of anxiety disorders and hyperactivity

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Mothers
The study said identifying and treating mental health issues in young mothers is especially important as their health also affects the wellbeing of their children. Pixabay

Researchers have found that two out of three young mothers have at least one mental health issue.

The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that teen mothers have a much higher prevalence of mental health challenges than mothers aged 21 and older and teens who aren’t parents.

Almost 40 per cent of young moms have more than one mental health issue, including depression, a range of anxiety disorders and hyperactivity.

This is up to four times higher than in mothers aged 21 years or older and teens without children, the researchers said,

“Now that we understand that young mothers can struggle with problems other than just postpartum depression, our findings can be used to develop better screening processes, more effectively detect mental health problems in teenaged mothers, and direct treatment,” said study researcher Ryan Van Lieshout from McMaster University in Canada.

For the findings, Between 2012 and 2015, the Young Mothers Health Study recruited 450 mothers aged younger than 21 years old and 100 comparison mothers aged older than 20 years old at the time of their first delivery. The moms were from Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk, and Brant counties.

This study is the one of the first in the world to use diagnostic interviews to examine a range of mental health problems beyond postpartum depression.

“Structured diagnostic interviews are the gold standard for this kind of research. We’re glad to have used this method to talk to hundreds of young mothers about their experiences,” said study lead author Van Lieshout.

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Researchers have found that two out of three young mothers have at least one mental health issue. Pixabay

Age-matched young mothers were also compared with 15 to 17-year-old women without children from the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study who were assessed for mental disorders, the researchers said.

The study said identifying and treating mental health issues in young mothers is especially important as their health also affects the wellbeing of their children.

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“Young mothers can face a great deal of adversity both before and after becoming a parent, yet next-to-nothing has been known about the rates and types of significant mental health problems among these women in our community,” Lieshout said. (IANS)