There were plenty of other things that went wrong here, but these are the main points…


Mom labored lightly for a day and a half at home.  Early in the day Mom went to the hospital thinking she might be in labor.  She was found to be 2cm and 90%, but here contractions slowed way down, so she decided to go home for the day.  Later that day Mom decided to go to the hospital once her contractions became stronger and longer, although her contractions were not often regularly close.  (4-10 m apart.  Her past labors had been the same way.)


Mom labored for a few hours naturally at hospital during the evening, with nursing staff ignoring her when her monitors did not work correctly.   She labored there for hours but was not officially admitted to the hospital simply b/c dilation was only 3cm and then an hour or so later 3.5cm.  Patient informed her nurse that she had a natural labor before and thought that she was in fact in labor.  She said she was concerned b/c the ends of her labors go quickly and she was trying to come in early enough to get antibiotics for group B strep. Mom was told by the nurse to stay on the monitors and that they don't admit women until they have “proven they are in labor.”  A few hours later, Mom was suddenly found to be 6.5 cm dilated after she called the front desk to inform the nurse that if felt like the baby was starting to come out, at which point Mom was officially admitted to the hospital.  Baby was born 26 minutes later before mom could get even one dose of antibiotics.  The Doctor was called from home to come in right when mom was officially admitted, but did not get there till about 15-20 minutes after the baby was born.



Two questions:

Is it considered the standard of care for a nurse to force the naturally laboring patient, toward the end of her labor, to pee on a towel on the bed instead of allow her to walk to the bathroom to relieve herself?  Nurse stated patient might "push"  if allowed to go to the restroom.


Also, is it considered the standard of care for a nurse to yell at, shake, and hit (not super hard) the patient to get her attention.  Mom chose to stay on all fours (during pushing contractions after her water broke) and not flip over onto her back.  The nurse loudly told the mom to turn over.  Mom, during a contraction loudly said, "I can't!"  The nurse then forcefully took the patient's legs out from under without warning during a contraction and she fell on her side.  Nurses then flipped her the rest of the way over without any physical help or resistance from the patient.

Mom and baby were healthy in the end.  Baby had bruising on mouth and nose from coming out so quickly, but other than that there were no issues.  Baby’s blood tested negative for Group B Strep in the following days.


Is this legal? Does anyone know if there is a legitimate reason for a lawsuit here?  Do you know of any articles about something like this?  Any help is appreciated.

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It is never legal/acceptable for any medical person to FORCE a patient to do or not do anything. It is the basis of informed consent/refusal and is considered assault/battery. As for peeing on a towel & standard of care...the nurse has the right to encourage Mom to not go to the bathroom to relieve herself, esp if she feels that it could endanger her or the baby BUT again standard of care is based on informed consent/refusal & if after being advised of risks still decides to get up & go to the bathroom, refusing to allow her to or forcing her to stay in bed is at the very least a violation of patient's rights...


As for suing...unless there were witnesses to corroborate the story it is unlikely that it would achieve anything. I would suggest that a complaint be filed with the hospital & the state board that licenses nurses. Also go to and fill out the survey, it has questions about care by the very least other Moms may choose a different hospital if enough ppl complain about the nursing care at that hospital.

All good points...

I personally think peeing on a towel is ludicrous. Hospitals have bed pans. If the nurse truly felt it was in the best interest of mom and baby to keep the mother from going to the toilet, she could have at least offered her something *slightly* more dignified/humane than a towel. THAT to me is a signal that the nurse took some sort of issue with the mother (or she is just crazy/dumb).


And let's be clear about one thing---not being very encouraging of the mother relieving herself is exactly the OPPOSITE of being concerned for her well-being. A full bladder is a leading cause of severe PPH (the uterus cannot properly contract on a full bladder). I'm glad this mother was able to relieve herself, but it's utterly despicable the way it was accomplished. 

my mother was forced to pee on a soaker pad when trying to naturally labor for me and that was one of th emany things the nurses did to degrade her and ended up emotionally making her unable to birth ending in my unneceserean entrance into the world
How awful, Good luck with helping this Mother...
Barbaric Behavior like this makes me scared of hospitals.
Of course these things are not the "standard of care!" I am sorry the mom endured this mistreatment. Call the hospital and ask for their "Patient Advocate." The Patient Advocate can walk you through filing a complaint and getting answers. As far as a legal case, consult an attorney. Suing is expensive and emotionally draining, so while mom may have a case, only she can determine if it is worth the costs emotionally and financially. Obviously, avoid that hospital in the advent of any future pregnancies. I am glad I will have a midwife and a doula! So sorry. Big hugs to all.



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