Mother describes childbirth at Maryborough Health as torture

MARYBOROUGH, VICTORIA – Fresh concerns have been raised about the safety of Maryborough District Hospital, about 170km north-west of Melbourne in central Victoria, after a mother described her son’s birth there as “torture”.

Key points:

  • A mother has gone public for the first time about a harrowing birth at a regional hospital that left her with ongoing health issues
  • She says she felt “completely guilty” about not speaking up sooner and worries standards have not improved
  • Data shows higher rates of severe tears in mothers at regional hospitals, compared to those in metropolitan areas

Chelsea Richardson, 33, was left with faecal incontinence for almost two years after a forceps delivery without pain medication at the Maryborough District Health Service, north-west of Melbourne, in 2014.

“I wasn’t a person anymore. I’d lost my identity as a human who could feel pain,” Ms Richardson says. 

“I felt tortured.”

Ms Richardson sued the hospital for negligence in 2017. Her lawyers argued the intervention during the birth was unreasonable and that hospital staff failed in their duty of care.

She was paid an undisclosed sum in a settlement with the hospital, but she says she has not had any contact since and has not seen any evidence to indicate that standards have improved.

Read more the ABC’s Charlotte King and Andy Burns’s report:

Victorian mother describes birth at Maryborough District Health Service as ‘torture’

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