MORE OF THIS PLEASE!
AIMSI are delighted to hear that women are reporting positive experiences and hopefully this trend will continue.
We acknowledge the many individual care-givers, unit leaders, and other individuals in the Irish maternity system whom are attempting, in so far as hospital protocols allow them, to introduce more woman-centred care which realises evidence based findings and the significance optimum care has on women's physical, mental and emotional well-being; which has far-reaching impact on not only her health, but that of her family and baby.
The long term benefits of providing evidenced, supportive, women-centred care would also be seen down the line in terms of demands on the health services and other resources.
It is becoming clearer, as more research is done internationally in this area, that disrespectful and uncaring, and thoughtless treatment of a woman at such a significant time leaves lasting, very often hidden scars, unresolved physical injury, and often serious trauma which can go unrecognised and untreated. AIMS Ireland's support and advocacy services witness this on a daily basis.
It is wonderful to read this positive story in the Times, however, AIMS Ireland recognise that this level of care is not offered to all women accessing maternity services in Ireland. This should not be.
AIMSI will continue unceasingly in its efforts to ensure that every woman in the Irish maternity system has access to evidence based, kind, supportive care with a strong emphasis on informed decision making in order to support each woman to make the best decisions for her and her baby in her unique circumstances.
Very much remains to be done to realise this reality, including:
recognition of woman's rights in pregnancy
Informed decision making; consent, refusal
providing clear, unbiased information
a range of evidence based, safe care options
effective use of resources
listening to women and their experiences
humanising care for women with "high risk" status and caesarean births - such as skin to skin, baby in recovery, individual assessment, etc
Women should not have to be dependant on the attitude of individual care-givers or unit leaders for respectful and optimum care. Nor should women's care vary depending on the opinion/ routine practice of the care provider they see.
Women should be able to put trust in their maternity care and care providers.
There are very many extremely overworked and exhausted midwives and HCPs - stressed because they are unable to provide the care they know is evidence based and safe. There is much attention placed on the faults of our maternity system, to which there are many. However, AIMS Ireland fully recognises the very many wonderful care providers, who strive to bring the best practice and evidence based care to those they care for. There are pockets of amazing, supportive care in Ireland and these individuals are the backbone of these stories!
AIMS Ireland hope that maybe, someday, positive stories, such as the one here and others from 42 weeks campaign will be the norm for ALL.
Until then, all the negative experiences and feedback received from women must be carefully scrutinised and recognised as powerful tools of change. Lessons to learn from. A mirror to show us where we are - and where we must go. It is not an 'either/or' situation and we need the support of the media and Government to recognise this. ALL experiences are part of the system. ALL are worthy and should be heard. Only when we are able to be accepting and acknowledging of this - by highlighting what needs to be changed and what can be achieved - will women, babies and families get the optimum care and treatment they deserve and need.
This woman's story shows it can be done.
Here is the bar.
RISE to it!
Irish Times: Maternity services: ‘I felt safe in the hands of the professionals’ http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/parenting/maternity-services-i-felt-safe-in-the-hands-of-the-professionals-1.2168618