Birth on lawn: A woman gave birth alone on the lawn of a medical clinic after nurses denied to help. "I didn't want to deliver like this. It was so ugly and with so much pain," said 29-year-old Irma Lopez about the moment when she gave birth alone on the grass while squatting in pain. “A witness took the photo and gave it to a news reporter. It ran in several national newspapers, including the full front page of a tabloid, and was widely circulated on the Internet,” reported USA Today on Oct. 9, 2013.
The photo of the woman who gave birth on the lawn in front of the medical clinic which denied to help her has led to the suspension of the health center's director, Dr. Adrian Cruz, and officials of the southern state of Oaxaca announced on Wednesday that a federal investigation would be conducted.
On Oct. 2, 2013, Irma Lopez, who is of Mazatec ethnicity, and her husband left their family’s one-bedroom hut and walked an hour to the Rural Health Center of the village of San Felipe Jalapa de Diaz because Irma Lopez knew that their baby was going to arrive shortly. This was their third child and based on her experience, she knew that there would be no time to get to a hospital.
Upon their arrival at the Rural Health Center, however, a nurse told the woman who was about to give birth that she was really only eight months pregnant and that she wasn’t really ready to deliver even though Irma Lopez was reportedly fully dilated. Instead of assisting Irma Lopez, the nurse told her to go outside and walk.
Within 90 minutes, at 7:30 a.m., Irma Lopez’ water broke and with having nowhere to go, she squatted on the lawn outside of the health clinic and gave birth alone -- screaming.
At the time of the birth, Irma Lopez’ husband was inside the clinic still trying to convince the nurses that his wife was about to give birth and that she needed help.
Irma Lopez’ screaming while giving birth alerted nearby people, and not being able to provide any help, Eloy Pacheco Lopez took a photo of the woman giving birth on the lawn in front of the clinic and the baby boy still attached to his mother by the umbilical cord.
Eloy Pacheco Lopez provided the photo to a news reporter and the picture of the woman giving birth on the lawn in front of a clinic appeared in several newspapers including the tabloid La Razon de Mexico.
In response to the publication of the photo, the nurses of the clinic argued that “they did not have enough staff on hand to treat the woman due to a partial work stoppage” and that the fact that Irma Lopez and her husband were Mazatecs and did not speak Spanish added to the woman having to give birth on the lawn of the clinic.
According to Irma Lopez, the one word that she and her husband clearly understood was the word “no.”