Why Does Mother-Friendly Care Matter?

One of the sweetest blessings of my life has been the opportunity to work as an natural birth instructor trainer with Birth Boot Camp.  Shazia (who is also a registered nurse) is one of the many dozens of women I have had the pleasure of working with and learning from.  I love her thoughts (and her passion!) on the importance of birth and the benefits of Mother-Friendly care.   

Birth matters because WE matter!

It has been entirely too long that women have sat back and let someone else have total control over what happens to her and her baby in labor. Birth is often viewed as a problem and women believe that they can no longer give birth without “solutions” to the problem that is birth. Birth is a NORMAL process. Women have been giving birth for thousands of years and it is so sad that today women believe they can’t give birth on their own without countless medical interventions. Women often don’t realize that these medical interventions actually cause more complications and are often more trouble than their worth.

I was incredibly saddened by a friend’s recent birth experience at a local hospital. I talked to her about Birth Boot Camp and tried to open doors for her to ask more questions and educate herself about birth. However, she was not interested. It was her first baby and she trusted that her doctor would inform her of anything she needed to know. 

Sadly, she was very wrong. She was talked into an induction at 39 weeks because it was the Friday before a holiday weekend. During labor her doctor told her he would check her progress and instead broke her water without telling her or her husband. She had been on Pitocin for several hours and he was disappointed she was still only 2 cm dilated. He wanted to speed things up, so he broke her water without her consent. Her baby was just not ready to come on his own and she ended up with a failed induction and a preventable cesarean section. Her baby was not placed skin to skin after birth and she was not allowed to breastfeed in the immediate postpartum. 

She was finally allowed to hold her baby in the recovery room. However, her epidural was starting to wear off and the pain from major abdominal surgery made it unbearable to even attempt to breastfeed. She asked for pain medication, but it was a couple of hours before she was given any. She was too tired and hurt too much to breastfeed, so she asked her nurse what she should do. Her nurse brought her a syringe and some formula. She didn’t attempt to breastfeed until the following day. Of course, her baby had problems latching. When she asked for help, her nurse informed her that the lactation consultant only worked Monday through Friday.

This story is all too common these days. It is an important illustration of why it is SO important to have your baby at a facility that provides Mother Friendly Care. You can read about the principles of Mother Friendly Care here http://www.motherfriendly.org/MFCI

Many women think the closest hospital is the best place to have their baby. However, if the hospital does not have Mother Friendly Care recognition, you may be treated like my friend in the story above. I drove to a hospital that was 45 minutes away from my home and passed 3 other hospitals in order to have my baby at a hospital that provided Mother Friendly Care. I even had a fast labor that lasted a total of 6 hours and I still had plenty of time to make it to the hospital. The average labor lasts 17 hours, by the way. 

You can drive farther to ensure you are cared for adequately. The Mother Friendly Care Initiative aims to help women and babies have healthier outcomes by utilizing evidenced based practices in maternity care. It also encourages that women are treated like human beings during labor. We should be given an opportunity to have a say in what happens to our own body. It is time to take back our births. Demand Mother Friendly Care for yourself and for your baby, because YOU are worth it!

Shazia Lackey RN, BSN, BBCI


Betsy T said…
wonderful! sharing for sure..........