“I had worked at the Midwifery Society of Nepal (MIDSON) for 1 ½ years, spanning 2012-2014, so I had the opportunity to learn a lot about normal births and respectful maternity care. When I gave birth to my baby, I had a really bad experience in the first hospital I went to, but fortunately also a good experience in the second hospital where I eventually delivered my baby. I had a strong will to give birth normally, and despite doctors’ mistreatment, I was able to stay confident and assert my wishes throughout the childbirthing process. My nursing education from IUBAT and work in MIDSON had a great role in building up that will and confidence in me. As an advocate for the right to quality health care, I felt it necessary that I share my experience with MIDSON and add to their knowledge of yet another example of professional misconduct in hospitals around childbirth in Nepal. They soon replied, offering me to publish as well as present my story in the 2nd National Midwifery Conference held on May 4-5, 2016.
I shared my story to an audience of 250 personnel from various professional backgrounds and organizations in the field of maternal and child health. A downside while presenting was that they reduced my timeslot of 30 minutes to 10 minutes (an error that the announcer made), and the time for participation from the audience was not allowed. However, all of the participants had a copy of my story with them to read and also, many of them shared their sad childbirth stories with me offstage.
Bimala, it is truly inspiring to see the empowerment that you have gained from nursing and your resolve to use your personal experience to share knowledge and relate to others as well. Please continue what you are currently doing, this message that you are spreading is one of importance and worth hearing, for nurses, healthcare professionals and for all of us, as patients.