“It is scary to stand up for yourself after trauma but you can do it and you won't be alone.”
— S., CLIENT
— S., CLIENT
My name is Kate Macdonald (she/her). I am a patient advocate based in Toronto, Canada. After my own experience of obstetric violence and postpartum PTSD, I learned just how little support exists for folks who wish to speak up about mistreatment and abuse in reproductive healthcare. I have been trying my best to advocate for change ever since.
Disrespectful care is normalized in our healthcare system and speaking up in any way is often discouraged. My goal is to encourage more people to come forward with their stories and to help educate students and professionals on topics that impact patient experience.
To share your stories of mistreatment and abuse in reproductive healthcare across Canada, visit The Obstetric Justice Project at obstetricjustice.org.
To file a complaint about an abusive care provider, visit my Resource page or continue reading.
Doulas traditionally provide emotional and physical support to people throughout pregnancy, loss, abortion, childbirth, and the postpartum period. I am not trained to provide these specialized services, but I can help you navigate the feedback and complaints process after a traumatic birth or reproductive healthcare experience.
At this time, I am building a directory of resources here on my website to help folks speak up about their experiences.
If you require assistance beyond online resources, I may be available to lend time providing peer support. As I am new to this role, I am hoping to gain more experience and hone my Complaint Doula skills as a volunteer.
Complaint Doula is my own term that describes my work. I provide non-expert, informal, peer support guided by your needs, which may include:
•helping you to share your story and put your concerns in writing
•figuring out where to direct a possible complaint and how to begin the process
•making difficult phone calls, sending emails, or gathering information on your behalf
•in-person support for complaint-related meetings, interviews, or hearings (in the Toronto area)
•connecting with others who have had similar negative experiences with the same care providers
As your Complaint Doula, I can support you in speaking up for your right to respectful reproductive healthcare. This could include helping you to advocate for yourself or advocating at your side on your behalf, providing in-person support or long-distance encouragement. Get in touch to discuss your needs and see if we’d be a good fit to work together.
I am currently available to present my intro workshop “Obstetric Violence 101”.
I am also interested in opportunities to speak with healthcare providers, mental health professionals and students. This could include sharing my own traumatic birth experience and my struggle to find accessible support for postpartum PTSD, and the importance of providing universal trauma-informed care.