Compassion, dignity and respect are fundamental aspects of respectful maternity care.
We need to be mindful to remember treating women with dignity, compassion and respect sits at the very heart of good maternity care. If we forget that we are failing those we want to help the most.
Health professionals often forget the significance of events for women receiving maternity care. This may just be another routine day at work for the doctor or midwife, but for the woman and her family this is not just an ordinary day…today will change her life. Maternity care providers need to remember that.
Ensuring dignity and compassion in care requires commitment at all levels. Each midwife or doctor has a professional responsibility to provide care that is respectful, compassionate and based on best evidence.
However the wider organisation has to take responsibility as well by creating the conditions that enable staff to thrive and to do the right thing. This includes workplace safety, cultural safety and the management of excessive workloads.
Many of the most effective ways improve the experience of care start with simple steps, for instance introducing yourself to your client, knowing what’s important to your client, asking permission, respecting privacy, providing woman centred care, providing care informed by the woman’s preferences, and reflecting on the impact of care provided.