Lancet publication on mistreatment of women during childbirth

First author Dr Meghan Bohren

Dr Meghan Bohren published a new first author study in The Lancet on the mistreatment of women during childbirth in 4 countries. This is the largest study of the mistreatment of women during childbirth, and led by Meghan in collaboration with the World Health Organization and researchers in Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea and Myanmar.

The research team used direct observations of labor, and community-based surveys with women to measure mistreatment during childbirth, and found that more than 40% of women had an observed experience of physical abuse, verbal abuse, or discrimination, and 35% of surveyed women reported such mistreatment.

Physical and verbal abuse peaked between 30 minutes before birth though to 15 minutes after birth. Women were nearly 12 times more likely to experience physical abuse and seven times more likely to experience verbal abuse within 15-minutes before birth, compared to one-hour before birth.

The article was widely covered in the media, including BBC Health Check, the World Health Organization, Time magazine, and the Washington Post.

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Ruth Hentschel

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