Thursday, September 27, 2007

Rub a Dub Tub

I'm pleased to read that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in Great Britain is endorsing pain relief for women in labour and encouraging natural birth processes - simply by stepping into a warm bath. From the article:

Giving birth should be a normal process which ends with a spontaneous vaginal delivery where mother and baby are healthy afterwards, the guidance says. But too often, it has become a medical procedure because doctors and midwives – and mothers – become anxious about letting nature take its course.

"In some cases women have had medical interventions they did not need. This guidance is about putting together best practice to ensure it is as normal a process as possible," the spokeswoman [from NICE]said.

The Secretary of State for Health has pledged to increase numbers of midwives to accommodate pregnant and labouring women receiving one-on-one care.

In Alberta, a midwife is not an option for women without forking out up to $3,000.00. Lisa Lampert of Martha's Monthly writes about midwifery in Alberta:
About 40,000 babies are born in AB each year. . . If just 5% of them (or 2000 babies) were caught by a publicly funded midwife it would save the Alberta government over $2,000,000. Now is it just me or does that make sense: offer a real choice to expectant mothers and save money?

I want to start hearing some women-friendly rhetoric in this province. I want to see more options for all women and more value placed on the experience of women giving birth. But I guess for now what we can do is draw a bath and hope for relief from the labour pains of this conservative patriarchal capitalist gong-show of a government.

No comments: