Can you imagine being propped up on a delivery table, legs spread, pushing your baby out — while your doctor flashes the peace sign as she poses for a photo?
No? Well, that’s a reality for one Malaysian mother whose crotch was plastered all over the Internet after her doctor decided it would be OK to smile for the camera. The photo, taken at the Johor Bahru Hospital, was posted to a Facebook page, where it was shared and “liked” thousands of times, according to Daily Mail. Another odd note is the fact that the doctor’s cellphone appears to be right beside her as she delivers the woman’s baby, and we have to wonder why — is she texting people as she works? How can that be an approved medical practice?
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The doctor was quickly identified, and a hospital administrator as well as the country’s health minister have promised an investigation accompanied by swift action. It’s not too much of a stretch to believe that this doctor will be reprimanded or punished, spectators or no.
But it goes without saying that this is a pretty bad scenario. As moms who have had a vaginal birth in a hospital know, it’s a little weird when a herd of medical personnel descend upon your room once you begin pushing, where they ogle your vagina in all its birthing glory. Some moms care, but many don’t, because once the pushing phase begins, you just want the baby to exit as quickly and as safely as possible.
However, a photo of a mom pushing out a baby is a different story — a way, way different story. Some moms are comfortable with it, especially if they have a birth photographer on hand who they’ve encouraged to photograph their baby’s first few moments, but it’s unlikely that this particular mother was OK with the photo being taken. And it’s also likely that she was definitely not be fine with it being posted to Facebook.
This is a violation of the patient’s privacy, and while you may argue that you can’t see the mom’s face, she likely knows that it’s her, and this sort of discovery can be devastating to randomly find on the Internet, especially if others were poking fun at her birthing vagina or her butt. It also makes it look like the doctor doesn’t take her job seriously enough or that she values her patient’s experience.
If you don’t want to even chance this happening to you, make it known that you have a firm “no photos/phones” in the delivery room. Even a photo that is taken without the intention of capturing your nether regions may inadvertently do so — yes, even if it’s taken by your best friend, your mom or your husband. And while you may not be able to completely control what others do in your delivery room, making sure they know that you don’t want pics taken can help prevent accidental vulva exposure online.