These words are a direct quotation from a pregnant woman who almost died.
I want to personally thank Steph Montgomery for writing one of the most honest articles about the dangers of pregnancy, something that very few of my OB colleagues have been willing to do.
In her blog, Pregnancy Almost Killed These 8 Women and Here’s What They Want You to Know, Montgomery describes the challenges of eight women who had pregnancy complications that nearly killed them. Their stories bring to light something that all OB providers know but rarely say in public: pregnancy can be lethal if people aren’t paying attention.
When I wrote The Smart Mother’s Guide to a Better Pregnancy almost ten years ago, I was criticized for having the courage to discuss “medical errors.” I was accused of “scaring” pregnant women. I wasn’t trying to “scare” them -- I was trying to save them because quite often, their complaints would be ignored until they ended up crashing in the delivery room or the emergency department at the brink of death.
Each year over 700 pregnant women die in this country despite the billions of dollar spent in healthcare. The most important thing any patient should do is trust their instincts and advocate as demonstrated in the quotes listed below:
“Trust yourself if something does not feel right. I would try to have someone there who is willing to advocate for you."
"I developed postpartum preeclampsia one day after giving birth. They completely missed it in the hospital and discharged me on day three.”
“My maternal fetal medicine specialist had insisted a few days previously that I be moved to the room closest to the operating room. I honestly believe that these decisions are what saved my life that night.”
“If anything feels 'off' or wrong during pregnancy or especially postpartum, don't just brush it off and don't let the doctors or nurses brush it off, either. Advocate for yourself. Tell a loved one or a friend and ask them to help advocate for you if necessary.”
We must be heard and taken seriously.
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