17 Aug 2010

Client of midwife describes 'horrific' birth experience

6:49 pm on 17 August 2010

A client of a midwife charged with professional misconduct has described her experience of giving birth as horrific and scary.

The midwife, who has temporary name suppression, is before a health practitioners disciplinary tribunal hearing in Christchurch.

The midwife faces six charges of failing to act in the best interests of five of her clients between 2005 and 2008.

One of the women was 16 when she gave birth and her baby was adopted out.

The tribunal was told the midwife encouraged her to lie to hospital staff about her adoption plan and gave her the wrong advice about adoption.

Another woman called the midwife repeatedly while she was in labour, but was told to take Panadol and wait. She eventually gave birth on the floor of her laundry, before the midwife arrived.

The woman told the tribunal the experience was horrific and scary and when she raised her concerns, the midwife brushed them off.

Matthew McClelland, a lawyer for the Professional Conduct Committee, said the midwife did not treat her clients with appropriate respect and they were left feeling powerless, scared and angry.

The hearing is expected to finish later this week.