MASIC Foundation – helping mothers suffering from anal sphincter injuries in childbirth

Education Event Dublin 2nd July 2019

The MASIC Foundation was set up in the UK in 2017 to assist mothers suffering from anal sphincter injuries in childbirth.  Thankfully, most births are straightforward.  When a mother delivers a baby through the birth canal they may suffer from some form of anal incontinence due to serious tears.

The Foundation aims to help mothers who often suffer in silence due to embarrassment and social stigma associated with their symptoms, unaware that there are any other mothers going through what they are experiencing.

In 2019, the MASIC Foundation held an education event in Dublin.  The Women’s Medical Negligence department at James McSweeney Solicitors were delighted to be invited to this event and we were able to extend the invitation to a number of women whom we represent.

We had the pleasure of listening to colorectal surgeons, physiotherapists, nurses and psychologists providing information to women.  Mothers in attendance heard that over 10% of women having a baby through the birth canal can suffer some form of anal incontinence.  We were told that this can present itself as an inability to hold flatus (wind) or stools (faeces).  Mothers were told there may be urgency issues and associated anxiety.

Not only was it beneficial to hear from the medical experts but the most powerful voices on the day were those of the incredibly brave women who stood up in front of a crowd of strangers and told their stories. The mothers in the audience who previously felt that their only voice was through the Courts were empowered by the bravery of these speakers.  They spoke of the hurt caused by the professionals in hospitals, they told us how they felt their worries and complaints were not listened to, how they avoided intimacy with their partner and how relationships broke down, they also spoke of their fear of leaving the house in case they had an accident, and the impact their injuries had on their children.

We were delighted that after the event that some of our clients arranged an informal meet up with the other mothers who attended.

The system is not changing. Injuries continue to occur.  Education is crucial in preventing third and fourth degree tears during childbirth.  There is no doubt that it is these women who tell their stories and fight for better services and education will change the system.  We applaud and thank you.

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