Monday, 21 January 2008

Happy New Year

Well it is a New Year and it has been an extremely busy Christmas and New Year in the maternity unit where I work with the birth of many babies. Fortunately, for all these women, there was a happy outcome with the safe arrival of lovely healthy babies and without adverse complications for the women. So what,? I can hear some of you say or perhaps, ooh how lovely and so on and so forth.

My point is that I have recently been reading graphic accounts of child birth and pregnancy outcomes in the third world and developing countries and have been trying to make sense of the great inequity there is between our world and theirs. Of course, we all know that pregnancy and childbirth is just the tip of the ice berg of the problems and it would be naïve to suggest anything other than this.

I have had a lot of response to my posts that I wrote before Christmas about choice and pain relief and I have had an excellent response to these from all kinds of people with all kinds of experience and I thank you all for taking the time and trouble to write a response. It has been extremely interesting to read them all and I am sorry but I cannot possibly reply to you individually.


Choice and control for women are the basis of the central themes which are the main drivers for developing maternity services in the western, developed world. It is interesting to compare this with the drivers in the third world or developing countries where their main objectives are to reduce maternal and neo-natal mortality and morbidity

Sometimes. I feel we have maybe lost sight of just what providing a safe maternity service involves and just how much we take for granted. Do Women in the Gambia or Sierra Leone or any of the other African countries have a choice about where they have their babies or what kind of pain relief they are going to have? If they are lucky, they will have their babies without too much fuss with other women attending them using their remedies and ways of delivering a baby or they may find themselves, in labour, with terrible complications having to walk anything from 50 to 100 miles to access the nearest hospital. By then, sadly, it may be too late for either woman or baby or both.

Yes, we can moan and complain about our NHS system but against all odds, it provides a gold standard of care to the majority of women and the best thing of all is that not only can women choose where they have their baby and what pain relief they want but the outcome is 99.9% positive, with a live mother and a live healthy baby – which of course – is the aim.

Happy New Year!!

1 comment:

Rory Gord said...

Howdy, there. Just stumbled upon your blog. You make a good point; we've come far and it's easy to loose track of that. It makes me queezy to think that in some countries female genital mutilation is still occurs, as well.