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Editor's Choice

Better obstetric outcomes

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 15 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3778
  1. Fiona Godlee, editor, BMJ
  1. fgodlee{at}

Fatima Aliyu was 25 years old when she went into labour with her first child. Six days later, the baby was dead—stillborn by caesarean section—and Fatima had lost control of her bladder and bowels. “I cried in the dark because I was left behind, my dignity was gone,” she writes (doi:10.1136/bmj.d2881). Ten years on, still struggling with the effects of her prolonged obstructed labour, with two obstetric fistulas, sphincter damage, and foot drop, Fatima is nonetheless one of the lucky ones. Despite the social stigma and huge practical challenges of her incontinence and her inability to have other children, her family has stood by her. …

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