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CONSCIOUS BIRTHING INDIA

Holistic Perspectives & Directory For Northern India

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India’s Maternity Mess

When it comes to health policy, India often strangely lunges at the mistakes of the US, ignoring insights and better approaches from Europe.

India has an irrational fear of midwives. To some, it is a reminder of ancient times with their unhygienic practices and unscientific opinions. Understandably, therefore, many women are unsure of the quality of care they might receive from a midwife, compared to a doctor.

But there is growing evidence that trained midwives are as good as doctors in taking care of pregnant women and in overseeing uncomplicated births. In the United Kingdom, for instance, there is a recognition that “all women need a midwife, and some need a doctor too.”

Our singular focus on just the outcome (of reducing deaths) has sadly led to a gross neglect of the right methods to achieve it, with the health system forgetting that a pregnant woman is a human being (and “not a birthing machine”) who deserves to be treated respectfully and provided all information honestly. Midwives are an important part of the answer here as maternity systems with midwives tend to be more humanistic and personal, more respectful of women, and less interventional.

Midwifery might not be a comprehensive answer to India’s maternity mess, but it is an important and necessary part of the answer.

To continue reading the original article
“Shunned for years, can trained midwives fix India’s maternity mess?”
by Kirna Kumbhar, click:

https://qz.com/india/629132/shunned-for-years-can-trained-midwives-fix-indias-maternity-mess/

WHO Recommends Doulas Attend Births

“WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist” has been developed to support the delivery of essential maternal and perinatal care practices. The Checklist addresses the major causes of maternal death (haemorrhage, infection, obstructed labour and hypertensive disorders), intrapartum-related stillbirths (inadequate intrapartum care), and neonatal deaths (birth asphyxia, infection and complications related to prematurity). It was developed following a rigorous methodology and tested for usability in ten countries across Africa and Asia.

An implementation guide for health facilities has been developed to help birth attendants and health-care leaders successfully launch and sustain use of the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist. The simple document lists basic interventions. Amongst the six instructions: “Encourage birth companion to be present at birth”.

Birth companions provide support to the mother during birthing and in the postpartum period. They can also recognise danger signs, alert health care workers in case of emergency and care for the baby. Possible birth companions are the spouse, a family member, friend, health worker or doula. 

Evidence shows that birth companions can help to improve health outcomes. The emotional and psychological benefit cannot be emphasised enough. The presence of birth companions increases the likelihood that the mother will have a spontaneous vaginal delivery instead of caesarian, vacuum or forceps birth. Mothers with birth companions have also been shown to need fewer pain medication, to have shorter birthing process and be better satisfied with their delivery experience.

This is great news for doulas as they receive validation from the most influential health organisation in the world. 

Check: http://www.who.int/patientsafety/implementation/checklists/childbirth/en/

benefits doula

Background

Of the more than 130 million births occurring each year, an estimated 303 000 result in the mother’s death, 2.6 million in stillbirth, and another 2.7 million in a newborn death within the first 28 days of birth. The majority of these deaths occur in low-resource settings and most could be prevented.

BetterBirth study

Since 2012, WHO has been supporting a multi-centred randomized controlled trial in more than 100 hospitals in Uttar Pradesh, India, to test whether adoption of the Checklist improves health outcomes for mothers and newborns.

The trial is being conducted by the Ariadne Labs, a joint centre of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Check: https://www.ariadnelabs.org/areas-of-work/childbirth/better-birth/


 

Become a Doula!

Learn about doulas, how labor works and how our ideas about birth can shape our experience of birthing in this awesome talk by Ginny Phang:

Ginny Phang is passionate about enriching a woman’s child birth experience, supporting couples through their choices and helping them to achieve the best possible birth experience. As a Doula, she has supported over 300 births and taught antenatal classes to hundreds of couples.

She’s been speaking all over the world in front of audiences ranging from small groups of single pregnant women to the Singapore International Congress of Obstetrics & Gynecol­ogy. She’s been trained by pioneers in childbirth education and labor support. She’s been quoted all over the place, including TIME magazine and other publications.

Information on Doula training:
http://www.fourtrimesters.com


 

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