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By Marizka Coetzer


Mom’s battle to prevent midwife from ‘ruining more lives’ drags on

Carien Moller opened a criminal case against the midwife allegedly responsible for the deaths of more than 10 babies.

One of the five mothers who laid a complaint against a midwife who is allegedly responsible for the deaths of more than 10 babies and left five other babies disabled, is frustrated as the hearing into the alleged negligence of the midwife is yet to be finalised.

Carien Moller opened a criminal case against a midwife, formerly of Pretoria East after her baby, Sophia, suffered severe brain damage in 2019 at birth because of alleged negligence and unethical treatment.

Moller said she has been doing her best to stop the midwife from practicing and “ruining more lives”.

This week, the midwife appeared before the SA Nursing Council following five complaints against her by former patients. The hearing was postponed until 15 July for further investigation.

Moller said she was frustrated the council did not focus on the midwife allegedly prescribing scheduled medication to patients without their consent.

“Sophia is turning two years old next month. It’s not fair, but we need to trust the process,” Moller said.

A Johannesburg-based midwife, who agreed to speak anonymously, said midwives were concerned the case could have a ripple effect on their practices.

“There is this whole boycott that’s going on social media of the doulas who were associated with [the midwife in question],” the midwife said.

Heleen Tshibumbu, who has been a doula since 2017, said she loves home births because everything takes its natural course with no medical intervention.

Tshibumbu said home births could be challenging because no doctors were involved, only the midwives and a doula.

“There should be two midwives, one for the baby and one for the mother,” Tshibumbu said.

The doula offers the pregnant mother psychological labour support and emotional support during pregnancy and birth. Tshibumbu said home births could be turned into special occasions the whole family could attend.

Sister Karen Clark from Birthworks, an online support platform, said Birthworks encouraged women to make a careful choice of caregivers to ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience.

Now read: The impact of negligence on midwifery in SA

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