Women in France have expressed their outrage as they were forced to wear face masks during childbirth.
Mothers, campaigners, and medics have expressed their concerns, arguing that many are becoming too weak to push due to masks.
They also pointed out that individuals in fitness centers are exempt from wearing a mask but women must wear one during labor.
French mothers who have given birth under the rules have shared their experiences.
30-year-old Maud, who gave birth in April, said she was told that she must wear a face mask as doctors could choose not to give her treatment because the facility did not have enough staff and couldn’t provide a replacement team.
The mother had to wear the mask for 12 long hours and described the incident as ‘blackmail.’
“As soon as I pushed the first time I realised that it was going to be complicated and my instinct was to take off the mask to breathe,” Maud said.
She agreed to use a mask as ‘it’s protocol’ but she immediately realized that it was going to be difficult as she was ‘breathing my own hot air.’
“I had the feeling that I was suffocating, I was very hot, I was sweating profusely under my mask, I wasn’t managing it,” Maud added.
“I remember one point my partner took the mask off me because he could see that I was in distress, but he was told off for doing so.
“In the end the doctor had to use forceps and my son was born with amniotic fluid in his lungs, a bump on his head from the forceps and he had to be transferred to the neonatal service in another hospital because the hospital I was in did not have adequate facilities.”
Maud added: “This was very traumatic for my partner and me. Before giving birth, we are taught to manage our breathing and so to be in this situation was very traumatic.”
Another woman, 25-year-old Fanny, said she was told that she would have to wear a mask during her entire stay.
“It was very, very hard to breathe. I threw up a number of times,” she expressed.
“I couldn’t catch my breath with the mask on and in the end it was decided that I had to have an emergency C-section.
“It must have been 98.6F (37C) in there. But when I tried to take my mask off, I was told off. They said that I would be spreading coronavirus everywhere.”
Fanny said she couldn’t understand why people in fitness centers are allowed to not wear masks but women giving birth must wear one.
Hospitals have defended the rule as a precaution to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
According to reports, France is struggling with COVID-19, with more than 770,000 confirmed cases and over 32,000 fatalities.
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