This is sad reading but a very well put and, I am sorry to say, an accurate portrayal of many obstetric units. I do believe that the culture of most birth centres and community midwifery services is less woman-unfriendly but the general point still pertains in that midwives working in those settings actively struggle against the attitudes and practices described. That struggle is part of their daily lives and also takes its toll.
We have placed human birth so far into a medico-legal paradigm that we have almost lost sight of the fact that it is a natural, social and sexual event at the heart of healthy family life. To heal this situation requires midwives and women to work together and for homebirth, community midwifery, doula, hypnobirthing, independent midwifery and birth centre services to be cherished and strengthened. Placing these services at the CENTRE of maternity care and not viewing them as frills is the way forward. Continuity of care and the relationship between midwife and mother is crucial to the humanisation of maternity care. How can such dismissive, unsupportive and demeaning attitudes and behaviours described in the article survive the building of proper relationships?