Call for empowering language in birthing suites

Pregnant mum in labour helped by midwife nurse

Midwives and doctors are being encouraged to use less insensitive language, to help birthing women feel more empowered.

Phrases like ‘big baby‘, ‘failed induction’ and ‘painful contractions’ should be swapped with ‘healthy baby’, ‘unsuccessful induction’ and ‘strong contractions’, according to a trio of experts.

Postive language, positive birth

In a British Medical Journal opinion piece, the researchers said women should have a full understanding and be in control of their care, and this comes down to the way they’re spoken to. They created a guide to help midwives and doctors change their language during and after birth.

It suggests replacing common phrases with alternatives that humanise birthing women, as well as include them in the process.

The researchers do amid some eyes may roll at the political correctness of the suggestions. But they point out that the care of birthing women needs to reflect modern society. They also point out that positive language can have a big impact on a mother’s wellbeing.

“Positive communication and interactions throughout the birthing process significantly affect the woman’s experience, which in turn can affect both her mental and physical health, as well as her relationship with her baby postnatally.”

We’d love to know what you think Grapeviners. Would you prefer more gentle, positive language while birthing your child? Come and discuss this and everything in your stage of pregnancy and motherhood in our closed Mum’s Grapevine Due Date and Baby Groups.

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