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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Humanistic birth

"Women are not seeking “designer” births. They are looking for humanistic care during pregnancy, labor and birth and are increasingly having difficulty finding that in many hospitals."*

Sorry, I posted this one as just a thought to myself to be saved later to mull over. So, I'll go ahead and do my thinking now since I already put it out there:) I saw this quote and started asking myself, "what is humanistic care"? And what is it that women are seeking in birth anyways? We all go in with specific expectations. Some want more natural births, some want a whole planned out script, some just want to get that baby out however it comes. But I think all of us want to be treated with dignity and respect. We would all like to think that our thoughts and ideas matter to those taking care of us.

Labor is a hard one to do this with, though. Things can happen so fast, and many people that you don't know are suddenly around you. I feel like often times, the emotional roller coaster that mom is going through is sometimes over looked. Sometimes, it's just the touch of a hand, or the calm quiet voice that we need the most. Speaking as a nurse, we may not like all the moms we are serving, but I have come to the conclusion, that we need to learn to not only like them, but to love them. A more humanistic experience means a lot more work, a lot more learning, and a lot more focus on the needs of moms and babies. And it is definitely not something to just shove to the side as a good idea...it is absolutely necessary for us to understand that birth needs to be surrounded by loving and caring people.

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Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?


  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.