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« "Childbirth moves, first, out of the home, and now out of the vagina" | The Nurse Curse: Reality Rounds Tells Her Birth Story »

The Parenting Paddywagon: Post-Cesarean Mom Fails to Bond

Woozy from pain medication after a Caesarean section, swinging from joy over her newborn boy to exhaustion from the strain of delivering him, Karen Piper mentioned to her doctor that she’d been hoping for a girl. She would come to regret those words.

There she was at Washington Hospital Center on an early spring afternoon, three days after giving birth. She’d be taking Luke home to the room she had lovingly prepared, to a time she’d dreamed about for years, just the two of them getting to know each other, reveling in the miracle of new life.

When nurses finally told Piper she was free to leave, no discharge papers for her son were brought out. Instead, she faced a parade of inquisitive official visitors, including uniformed police, a social worker, a psychiatrist, and assorted doctors and nurses. Her baby had been placed on medical hold while government investigators considered whether Piper was fit to take Luke home to Prince George’s County, the authorities said. She had failed to bond with her baby, a nurse told Piper.

Read the rest of Marc Fisher’s coverage of the discrimination against a post-surgical mother in this Washington Post article.


Hat tip to Barb from Navelgazing Midwife.


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Reader Comments (3)

Oy Veh! The news story says that the staff took her son for a circumcision during this circus, and who knows what else. I wonder if she can sue.

April 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

I am also a mandated child protection reporter. This story strikes me as truly bizarre, and I can't help but feel that something is beiing left out, maybe because of HIPPA laws. For all those medical personnel to feel this woman was dangerous is striking. In all the years I have worked in OB, really the only time child protection has been called is in cases of drug abuse, child abandonment (not visiting an infant in the NICU for example), or in an unsafe home situation (mom living in the streets, or in a car etc). Maybe because the city where I work is so back-logged with child abuse reports, they probably would not even have responded to a report of a mom who is not bonding. It all just seems so ridiculous.

April 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterReality Rounds

And then there are home birthers, and especially UCers, who get CPS called on them for NOT placing their children in the hands of medical professionals for some undetermined amount of time. And I can't tell you how many moms I've spoken to who have been coerced into invasive tests and procedures under the threat of CPS. CPS can be very gestapo-like, depending on the determination of the reporting party and the agenda of the local CPS agency.

OT, but Jill, is there any way I can convince you to either put the full text of the article in your post, or to put the full post in the reader? It is a little unwieldy to open the reader and have to click the jump to read the full post, and then have to click the link to read the full article.

April 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Jones
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