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The Ombudsman intervenes on access to anesthesia in childbirth

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The Commissioner for Human Rights intervenes with the Minister of Health because there are too many Polish women who give birth in pain and too many deliveries that become a trauma. Anesthesia during labor in most hospitals is just a theory. There is more evidence of this every day.

Beloved son on the phone, in memories – his birth. – I consider childbirth as a trauma of my adult life – says Mrs. Anna. This is not a one woman experience. Polish women give birth in pain, because the availability of anesthesia is fiction.

The Commissioner for Human Rights intervenes in this matter with the Minister of Health, Katarzyna Sójka. – Everyone has the right to respect for intimacy and dignity and the right to pain treatment. Also to alleviate the pain of childbirth – believes Wojciech Brzozowski, deputy Commissioner for Human Rights.

SEE ALSO: Mrs. Izabela told about a traumatic childbirth. “I have postpartum depression and post-traumatic stress disorder”

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We were the first to inform about it in “Fakty” TVN. In 2022, nearly 90 percent of Polish women giving birth naturally did not receive anesthesia. “I wanted the anesthesia because I knew what pain felt like. It’s such an indescribable pain, to be honest, my contact with the midwife… She was talking to me, and I didn’t listen to her at all, it’s such a pain – recalls Joanna.

Exceptions include hospitals, where a woman is told that it is natural for her to be born under anesthesia in the 21st century. In most places there are no anesthesiologists, a pro-women approach and the management, which – as in Międzylesie – decided that it is worth it, even though it does not pay off. – The National Health Fund pays an additional PLN 500 for labor anesthesia, which does not even cover the materials. It’s really embarrassingly low. The hospital adds a lot of money to this – explains Professor Ewa Barcz, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics UKSW, Międzyleski Specialist Hospital in Warsaw.

Midwife Edyta Dzierżak-Postek on contraindications to home birthTVN24

The Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights asked the Ministry about anesthesia already in 2016

The Ombudsman asks the Minister of Health, Katarzyna Sójka, how she intends to improve the situation. The editors of “Fakty” TVN also wanted to ask about it, but unfortunately they failed. – The basic right of a woman should be the right that every woman who wants to receive such anesthesia – believes Joanna.

The Commissioner for Human Rights is asking the Ministry of Health once again about anesthesia. – We asked this question for the first time in 2016, but it’s been 8 years and the problem persists – notes Wojciech Brzozowski. – This is an indicator of such an attitude towards women – says Joanna Pietrusiewicz from the “Human Childbirth” Foundation. Especially to those outside of big cities, because they have practically no chance for anesthesia. – The issue of differentiated access in terms of territory is particularly important to us, because it can prove the exclusion of women. In particular, from smaller towns – emphasizes the deputy commissioner.

In the West Pomeranian Voivodship, where Anna gave birth, anesthesia is available only in Szczecin. In 2022, 99 women were anesthetized in Szczecin hospitals. Less than 2% of all births. – I have always said that if I become a mother, I will be the mother of two children, and at this point I am not convinced that I will ever give birth again – admits Mrs. Anna.

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