“To do things right, first you need love, then technique.” Antonio Gaudi
Gaudi is not talking about romantic love he is talking about compassionate love. That is love that is grounded in connection, commitment, and duty.
What a pertinent reflection for all maternity care providers.
In maternity care, women require caregivers to provide compassion or loving-kindness so as to reduce her fears, anxieties and help her to feel more able to cope. The value of this for pregnant women self is evident.
Having the best technique without compassion can leave a woman feeling abandoned, abused and neglected. Maternity care provided with kindness, compassion, and understanding helps to fill a woman with love, confidence and hope.
Quotes from The Mother’s Tale, Women’s Experiences of Birth Care in Australia:
“I cannot underestimate the emotional, physical and psychological long term benefits of a positive birth experience, and of feeling listened to, respected and held.”
“It’s not the medical interventions that hurt women, it’s the disrespectful care, lack of informed consent, bullying and absence of emotional support and consideration of the mental health impacts of these interventions.”
For everyone working in maternity care it is important to remember that treating women with dignity, compassion and respect is at the very heart of good care, otherwise you are failing those in your care.