“As if birthing a baby isn’t hard enough, I gave birth while engaged in a physical struggle against the people I trusted to care for us,” says Caroline Malatesta of Birmingham, Alabama.
Malatesta was halfway through her fourth pregnancy when she decided that she wanted to exercise some new options in giving birth. The new options were being advertised and marketed by Brookwood Medical Center’s Women’s Center as part of a new campaign designed to give mothers various options when having a baby.
Brookwood, in Birmingham, promised birthing tubs, cushy suites and to honor any personalized birthing plan. Malatesta, like many women today, thought this sounded like a healthier plan versus the one where you lie on your back, have your feet in stirrups, and have an epidural and maybe an episiotomy.
The Malatesta’s experience couldn’t have been further from the truth of what Brookwood Hospital had promised, and now the Malatestas are suing the hospital and its parent company, Tenet Health. Tenet is also being investigated by the Department of Justice for alleged obstetrics-based fraud. The suit alleges medical malpractice and fraud.
According to Caroline Malatesta, her life has been a nightmare since the birth of her son in 2012. She had requested a water birth, but was told during her labor that a birthing tub would not fit into her room. She says that she was treated like a child who was expected to obey the orders of the medical staff.
Apparently, when she went into labor, no one knew much about her birthing plan, and her own doctor was not on-call at the time.
Mrs. Malatesta says the trauma has been debilitating. She suffers from anxiety and has to take medication. She also sees a therapist to help her recover from the nightmare that should have been a joyous event.