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Experience

posted Jul 14, 2010, 4:18 PM by Lisa Baracker   [ updated Jan 11, 2012, 10:55 AM ]
I was at a birth once where the mother to be was doing an amazing job laboring away, when the hospital staff told us that they had all the experience needed to help her have her baby.  It was sort of out of the blue, but they wanted us (the family and I) to know that they knew what they were doing.  I think that they were trying to reassure the mother that the combined 52-years of experience that they had was going to keep her safe in labor, but I didn't hear it that way at all.  And the question that immediately popped into my head was whose experience is this anyway?  

It doesn't seem to me like the 52 years make one bit of difference if you use them to tell your patients what to do rather than listen to them and what it is that they are asking for.  I think that the mother is the one having the experience and that she should be allowed the space to do so.  I think that the experience of the mother should be protected by the care providers so that the mother doesn't fell like she is just another patient in the assembly line of the Labor & Delivery Department's daily routine.  

Picture this... A mother comes into the hospital to have a baby.  She knows that she is in labor.  She feels the baby as it comes down the birth canal.  She knows when it's time to change positions and when it's time to push.  Her care providers watch her and listen to her as they encourage her through her journey to becoming a mother.  If only this was how it happened.  If only this one experience on this birth day could be held in higher esteem than the egos of the people who care for her once she is in the hospital.  

What would our system look like if it was mother-centered?
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