Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative: Why It's Important! Step #3

To receive CIMS designation as "mother-friendly," a hospital , birth center, or home birth service must carry out the these philosophical principles by fulfilling the Ten Step of Mother-Friendly Care.

Step #3: A mother-friendly hospital, birth center, or home birth service provides culturally competent care- that it, care that is sensitive and responsive to the specific beliefs, values, and customs of the mother's ethnicity and religion. 

In the United States, this step is so important. Every mother and every family is unique and every baby has the right to be born into this world in a way that symbolizes the culture of his/her family. Since I am a Christian, I will speak from a Christian stand point but the same respect for one's heritage and customs that I demand should be given to every single family that comes through a place of birth. Admittedly, only then will my birth wishes be respected as well. 

As a US citizen my freedom of religion is important to me. It is important that the environment I birth in values my faith in Christ, Jesus. My personal beliefs on birth call for the presence of the Lord and the ability to have prayer warriors with me throughout the process. My doula is a believer. We will want to pray openly during my birth. I will expect respect for that. If some nurse comes walking into my hospital room and hears us worshiping Jesus and makes a rude comment I will be extremely offended. My birth process will be disrupted.

A woman's spirituality is very important to her. It is the very essence of who she is. She needs to be allowed the freedom to express herself during labor. My favorite quote from, I don't remember where, says that a woman does not become someone else in labor but she become MORE herself in this vulnerable time. In my life I walk with Christ. He is all around me, a constant source of strength. During birth when I am most vulnerable I will want the freedom to embrace my faith. It is how I deal with trials... it is the very makeup of my being. 

To deny a woman the right to birth according to her faith system or culture's customs by disrespect, rude comments, forced procedures, and/or dictatorship of birth is to deny a women the birth she will be most healthy in and happy with. When you do not provide culturally competent care for mothers you are possibly inhibiting an otherwise beautiful, smooth birth process. And one that will save healthcare costs when she is allowed the space to birth in a healthy for her manor. 

When providers in the US learn to accept families for who they are and respect them as such... birth becomes a right of passage for women. It becomes something more than just a medical procedure or a common event. For her, it is everything in that moment. And she is at her best, her healthiest, when she is allowed to be her entire self.

For more information on the Ten Steps of the Mother-Friendly Initiative or to get involved please visit

No comments:

Post a Comment