Leilani

By Leilani

LifeBuzz Staff

Mom Gets $16M After Nurses Push Her Baby Back Into Her Vagina.

At 32, Caroline Malatesta decided to give birth to her fourth child at the Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama. She had delivered her first three children through "medicated, on-your-back deliveries," but Malatesta was interested in this new center because of its focus on natural childbirth, when a mother labors without the use of pain medications. The center promised comfort and choice.

"They had an ad on TV where a doctor was talking about 'natural childbirth,' and how they were embracing the concept. That added for me a layer of legitimacy that maybe natural birth could be better, especially when you hear a doctor talking about it," she told Cosmopolitan.

Malatesta interviewed with a Brookwood doctor to confirm what she had heard and read, and he told her that she "could labor in any position, not necessarily on [her] back, and didn't need continuous monitoring." She decided to switch to Brookwood at around 20 weeks.

On March 12, 2012 at around 2:30 in the morning, she went to the hospital after feeling a gush, thinking that her water had broken. The doctor wasn't on call so wasn't there yet, which left Caroline in the nurses' care.

While families' lives change the moment they step into the hospital to give birth, no one expects their lives to turn this way.

This is Caroline Malatesta.

Malatesta gave birth to her fourth child at the Brookwood Medical Center in 2012, and what happened there changed her family's life forever.

When the center first opened in 2011, advertisements focused on the positive experience of having a natural childbirth.

Having given three medicated births, Malatesta was glad to learn of other options. She made sure to learn as much as possible before making the switch from St. Vincent's to Brookwood. The choice on where and how to give birth is a very important decision to the mother.

When the center first opened in 2011, advertisements focused on the positive experience of having a natural childbirth.

Malatesta underwent a painful and traumatizing experience.

Complications during birth are more common than complications during pregnancy, says Pregnancy Corner. However, there were certain problems in Malatesta's case that could have been prevented.

Malatesta underwent a painful and traumatizing experience.

Caroline Malatesta / Cosmopolitan

When the time came to give birth, her doctor wasn't there yet, and she was left in the nurses' care.

Labor and delivery nurses have no small job. Not only do they assist in delivering the baby, they are responsible for caring for the woman and the infant during labor. These professionals must provide support and education to the mother throughout the process. In fact, many women thank the delivery team for their work.

Malatesta's experience was different. When she entered the birthing room, the nurse told her to use the restroom, because she probably wouldn't be able to use it while in labor. This was confusing to Malatesta, whose doctor had told her that wireless monitoring would allow her to be mobile. Unfortunately, her doctor wasn't on call.

"From that point on, it became a back-and-forth of 'But my doctor said I could' and 'But you don't get to,' Malatesta shared in an interview.

"The nurse treated me like a disobedient child!"

When the time came to give birth, her doctor wasn't there yet, and she was left in the nurses' care.

Caroline Malatesta / Cosmopolitan

There was a "power struggle" throughout the birth.

Malatesta did what she was told, most of which was different from the advertisements. For example, she put on a gown even though the center advertised that the woman could wear her own clothes. When she asked the nurse why, she received no explanation.

One of the nurses told her to get on her back, but she remained on her hands and knees, because that's what felt most natural to her. In response, the nurse flipped her onto her back. A different nurse held her baby's head and pushed it against Malatesta's vagina, preventing the infant from being fully delivered.

"The nurses were holding me down, and I was struggling — really struggling," she said of the experience.

Her husband, J.T., believed that the nurses were handling her aggressively for a reason. Perhaps "something serious was happening," but this was not the case.

Six minutes later, Malatesta's doctor rushed in. Her son, Jack, was delivered quickly, about a minute later.

There was a "power struggle" throughout the birth.

Caroline Malatesta / Cosmopolitan

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