Working with medical centers and doctors
Learn from medical centers
Watch everything that is done at the medical
center. When you can, ask questions.
Why did you
Because I am
00 suture is
Explain what is happening
Let the woman and her family know why each procedure is happening. Make sure
the woman understands and agrees to the treatment.
Work to change unnecessary, disrespectful, or
h a r m f u l p r a ct i ce s
Some hospital practices are not necessary. They may cause a woman discomfort for
no good reason. For example, there is no need to shave a woman’s pubic hair
before a normal birth. This is an unnecessary but common hospital practice.
Anther common medical practice that can cause problems is episiotomy (cutting
the vaginal opening) before every birth to be sure there will be enough room.
This is not necessary. It can cause deeper tears into the rectum and may not heal
as well as a small tear.
If you have a good relationship with a medical center, you may be able to
suggest a few changes. You will probably have the most success if you suggest only
one change at a time. Here are a few things that you might focus on:
• Procedures should be clearly explained to anyone who is receiving care.
• Women should be able to eat and drink during labor.
• Women should be allowed (and encouraged!) to sit, stand, or walk
• Women should be allowed to give birth sitting,
squatting, or standing.
• Unnecessary procedures and surgery (like routine
episiotomy or cesarean surgery) should be avoided.
• Women should be allowed to hold their new
babies right after the birth. They should be
encouraged to breastfeed right away.
• Babies should be kept by their mothers,
not in a nursery unless there is an emergency.
A Book for Midwives (2010)