NSW’s inquiry into birth trauma and obstetric violence — thought to be the first of its kind anywhere in the world — has so far received more than 4,000 submissions.
[W]hen the NSW parliamentary inquiry into birth trauma held its most recent hearing on Tuesday, the atmosphere was suffocatingly formal. Seated at a long table in the centre of the mirage room, hemmed in on all sides by politicians, parliamentary staff, microphones, TV cameras and members of the public, women who have given birth at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital and other healthcare facilities in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (LHD) spoke about the worst experiences of their lives.
Last year, 30 such women filed a joint complaint with the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) detailing their experiences of birth trauma and obstetric violence before, during and after giving birth at Murrumbidgee LHD healthcare facilities.
Since that group complaint, the inquiry has received more than 4,000 submissions. The vast majority are anonymous testimonials from women whose birthing experience was turned from one of hope and anticipation into a living nightmare.