It is very exciting news indeed that a major article has been published including reference to the important role #MatExp has played in shaping policy, particularly around good communication; changing what is regarded as acceptable and indeed helpful language to use intra partum (during birth!) – and why this matters:
Good communication during the birthing process is critical to good maternity care. Read more about the importance of respecting women’s autonomy in childbirth: https://t.co/IOz5L6vtpO @bmj_latest
— RoyalCollegeObsGyn (@RCObsGyn) February 9, 2018
We are very grateful to Natalie Mobbs, Catherine Williams, Andrew D Weeks for braving the ‘eye rolls’ of the traditional ‘doctor knows best’ brigade and researching in detail what makes a difference in terms of language at the unique time in a woman’s life when she gives birth to her new baby. Their article is important and informative: “Language matters as a way of respecting women’s views and ensuring that they are empowered to make decisions” – yes it does!
Indeed “The authors indicate that HOW the birth is conducted might be just as important as WHAT you do.” Shock-Horror-Probe! Perhaps the ‘fluffy’ person-centred clinicians like #FabObs Flo Florence Wilcock, #FabObs Sarah Winfield and other obstetricians who, along with many midwives, have been banging the #MatExp drum for the last few years have been right after all??
The research paper drew heavily on the input of the #MatExp Facebook group, which now has over 3000 members. It includes a Good practice in birth communication table with six sections on how language can be improved to bring about better outcomes for women and families:
News is spreading fast. Catherine tweeted just how far this has spread in a couple of days since it was published – New Zealand! Catherine says : “The BMJ piece originates in Wmn & Drs talking as equals. Thinking together. #MatExp”
Wow! the power of ‘#nohierarchyjustpeople’ !!
Natalie (student co-author) thinks the syndicated report piece on the blog made the NZ Herald as well as The Times, Sun, Telegraph, Today programme, Fox news. A neat illustration of birth culture for educative purposes…’Shock horror’ nonsense…Fascinating.
— Catherine Williams (@BerksMaternity) February 11, 2018
#FabObs Flo and I were very honoured recently to be invited to run the afternoon sessions for the Picker sessions reporting on the 2017 maternity surveys, talking about the work we have been doing through #MatExp Whose Shoes? and how ‘small things make a difference’ – things like language and treating women and families with dignity and respect. We invited some of the people from different trusts who are putting this theory into practice on a daily basis to come and co-present with us – you can view our slides here:
As the #MatExp Whose Shoes? evidence builds – but we feel that some of the powers-that-be’ can be reluctant to accept it because it does nor fit neatly into spreadsheets and tick boxes – we have been increasingly frustrated. Behind the scenes we have been drafting our ‘What have the Romans done for us?’ blog … 😉
It seems we have been saved the trouble by something here with MUCH more impact.
So once again, huge thanks to the researchers Natalie, Catherine and Andrew – and to the world press for giving this issue the attention it deserves. 🙂