Women value kindness
“I was so in awe of the midwives and their kindness and skills and so supported by them in both birth and post birth care that I transitioned as smoothly as possible.”
“My expectations were surpassed by my birth centre midwife, she was amazing, kind, compassionate and collaborative.”
“A little less treating pregnancy and birth like a disease and a little more trusting that women have been doing this for centuries so our bodies know what we need to do.”
“I hope that medical practitioners learn to be more empathetic to the needs of new mothers and address our concerns with compassion.”
To achieve kindness, we need to start with being women centred. Women centred maternity care can be summed up in two words – dignity and respect.
“Women are entitled to be treated with respect, compassion, and dignity.”
Kindness is showing a pregnant woman that we take them seriously – that we honour their need to be recognised, to be acknowledged. These are inborn human needs.
Yet we do not always value kindness as we should. Rather we brush it aside for a more egocentric approach. The social trends today – independence, status, selfishness – the me culture, use of technology, science, social media, – push us away from kindness. This results in fragmentation of care, less cohesion, women being isolated and more fearful.
We dream of maternity care that is kinder, more compassionate, more respectful, less abusive, less violent, and less cynical of a woman’s ability to birth. Where we see the end to rising anxiety and depression in post-natal women.
In maternity care we show kindness when we listen attentively; are compassionate and when we do no harm.
It’s worth remembering that no matter the circumstances kindness and compassion will never be out of fashion. Right now, more than ever before we need dignity and respect in maternity care.