Why a midwife shared a photo of blood-stained trousers

Image source, Petra Vinberg Linder

A midwife in Sweden who says she was so overworked she had no time to change her sanitary products has posted an image of her trousers, stained with menstrual blood, to highlight the pressures of her job.

Petra Vinberg Linder uploaded the photo on July 14 on Facebook with the comment: "Night shift midwife = had three childbirths. You don't have time to pee or change sanitary products. Thanks and goodnight,"

Most of the reaction to the Facebook post was positive as Ms Linder was applauded for highlighting the demand on nurses and midwives in Sweden following cuts to some maternity services.

There has also been recent mounting concern at reports in Sweden of women being turned away from overcrowded maternity wards or being forced to drive long distances to give birth.

In the northern Swedish town of Sollefteå pregnant woman have to travel up to two hours to give birth after the local hospital's maternity unit was closed in January as part of wider health cuts. As a result, some couples have taken courses on how to give birth in a car.

In Spain in April this year, a Spanish police officer began a procedure for alleged harassment following a row over her abandoning her duty for 5-10 minutes because she was menstruating.

'We are struggling'

Image source, Petra Vinberg Linder/Facebook
Image caption,
Midwife Petra Vinberg Linder posted this image of her menstrual blood stained scrubs

Ms Linder told the BBC: "The picture was just for my friends but when I woke up it had been shared widely and I had many messages of support.

"We need more midwives and clinics and the politicians need to wake up to this. We love our jobs but we are struggling with the heavy workload and unsure about our future."

The Swedish Government has allocated £45 million to improve maternity care including a new maternity project in which new mums or woman at risk of complications will be assigned a midwife for the duration of their pregnancy.

'Some things you shouldn't share'

Responding to Ms Linder's image one Facebook user commented: "I don't know you, you showed up in my feed but you're worth all the admiration and it's not OK that care is so undermanned. Not for you or your patients. Thank you!"

Another posted: "Thank you for daring to show this. Amazing post, strong tough woman."

However, there were some who thought such an image of menstruation blood was unnecessary. One user commented: "Some things you just shouldn't share. Sure this is happening, but it's not something people want to see."

By Rozina Sini, BBC's UGC and Social News Team

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