It has never ceased to amaze me in my classes as to how fastidious our women are in terms of choosing the latest in fashion, cosmetics , jewellery, hairstyles and conversely on how easily they give up their rights over bodies and babies. There is also a seemingly new trend of women who fear natural childbirth and the world it opens up too. The various reasons that people state for choosing their caregiver/place of birth.
The hospital is close to my house
The gynec is my relative/ aunt
Its our family hospital
It is strongly recommended by our friends
It is neat and clean and has five star status
The gynec is open and friendly
My parents recommended this hospital
Though I do not discount the above points I think it is equally if not more important to think of the following :
- The birth practices that are being practiced at the caregivers site (whether it is in tune with your philosophy of birth).
- Your choices in childbirth are being honored.
- Informed consent and refusal of your wishes.
- Clear evidence based explanations on risks, benefits, costs of any procedures being carried out.
- Freedom of movement during labor.
- Complete support in initiating breastfeeding once the baby is born.
- Exploring all options in childbirth.
We as Indians often never discuss or communicate with our doctor what we require to know and more often I have observed that we bring lame excuses to the table such as nobody has time to answer these questions, does all this really matter?
It ultimately boils down to taking responsibility for your health, your baby’s health how prenatally educated you are on various options available and making the right choices in the right places.
It is also important to remember that women and babies always remember the way they have been treated during their birthing process and on how active they were during that period which can pave the way for increase sense of confidence, empowerment for the rest of their lives(babies included).