Imagine being in labor for hours, enduring contractions that make you feel as if your insides are tightening, twisting and ripping apart. Your ordeal is almost over, but now, more than ever, you need comfort and encouragement from your health-care team. Now imagine that just when you need unconditional support, you get slapped or pinched. When you need compassion, you get mocked for getting pregnant in the first place. Or yelled at for not pushing hard enough. Instead of being treated with patience, you get someone pressing on your abdomen to try to make the baby come out faster. Those are some of the ways women have been treated during childbirth in four low-income countries, according to a study published this month in The Lancet . Mistreatment can happen any time during childbirth, but it’s during the crucial final moments of labor — from 30 minutes before birth to […]