Pregnant woman feels gaslit as her OB disregards her request for a c-section for her first baby.
A woman shared her experience of feeling gaslit by her OB in a post on Reddit. In the beginning weeks of her pregnancy, she experienced medical anxiety, which caused her to call her OB’s office twice with questions.
However, she worked hard to get over it and seldom felt anxious anymore. Despite this, her doctor mentioned her medical anxiety at every appointment, even when she said she felt fine. “Every question I ask seems to be met with a mention that he knows I’m anxious and I need to calm down… but I’m not,” she said.
During her 28-week appointment, she asked about scheduling a c-section due to her pre-existing prolapse and her baby’s size, which was in the 95th percentile. But her OB seemed to have forgotten her prolapse and dismissed her concerns about her baby’s size, saying, “the 95th percentile thing doesn’t matter.”
She also asked about getting blood work for clotting factors, but her OB said that the team would “think it’s ridiculous.” Feeling frustrated and upset, she left the appointment sobbing.
“I don’t want to switch OBs cause that’s too stressful right now and he is an amazing surgeon so I don’t feel uncomfortable in that way. It’s just insanely frustrating. I wish I stood up for myself more but I was trying not to cry and felt like I was a little kid again being told I’m wrong,” she shared.
Others Weigh In
The woman’s story of feeling gaslit by her OB during pregnancy has resonated with many Reddit users who shared their own experiences of being dismissed or mistreated by healthcare providers. Some suggested bringing a support person to appointments to advocate for oneself, especially if dealing with mental health issues.
“This is one reason that I insisted my husband joins me for all appointments and advocates for me and supports me. I know that I can’t/won’t always advocate for myself, especially under stress. Having someone at the appointment who is in your corner helps a lot if you can swing it. It doesn’t have to be your significant other [either],” one user commented.
Others urged the woman to consider switching OB if she felt uncomfortable or unheard. “28 weeks gives you time to switch OBs, maybe at the same practice? Imagine this person being with you during birth… he can’t remember what he told you at your last appointment! He’s going to say everything you experience is just anxiety! He’s pigeonholed you as an anxious person instead of listening to your concerns. He’s actually causing the anxiety… you have time to change providers so you’ll be comfortable for the rest of your pregnancy and birth. You deserve that!” another user wrote.
Some users also shared their own stories of being mislabeled or mistreated by their OBs. “My OB put the reason for my c-section as PTSD. I have never been diagnosed with PTSD. Ever. My OB [in my opinion] is not a psychiatrist so she can’t diagnose me with this either. When I confronted her, she assured me that in my chart there are other reasons listed as well. So now my husband and I have to just wait and see if this ‘elective cesarean’ as it’s charted will be covered by my insurance,” a user shared.
Sadly, stories of medical gaslighting are not uncommon, with patients feeling unheard, invalidated, or even traumatized by their healthcare providers. As one user put it, “Why do these people get into medicine? I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. Keep sticking to your gut. You’re doing great.”
It’s important for patients to speak up for themselves, seek support, and find healthcare providers who listen and respect their concerns.
What would you do in this situation?
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