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‘Labour companionship’ a welcome move?

Posted October 2nd, 2018, 10:14 AM IST

‘Labour companionship’ a welcome move?

Kerala is all set to launch the ‘labour companionship’ programme, in four major government hospitals. The programme will allow the expectant mother to be accompanied by a family in the labour room, which might make the delivery process smoother and communication to the staff easier. A recent study found that the staff allegedly often misbehave with the patient, the ill-treatment ranging from verbal to physical and discrimination based on social status. The government taluk hospital in Punalur, Kerala already has tried this and found it to be mother friendly.

A learning for new parents?
Steffi Behl Tokas, parent





Childbirth is indeed a life-changing experience. As the day arrived and I progressed into contractions, I realized how important it was to remind yourself of the the final result the birth of my child. I was blessed to give birth to my son a week ago and my husband’s presence in the labour room made me stronger. Seeing him stand by me like a rock made me comfortable. Having my family by my side during this time kept me motivated. It was a great learning as a couple and as parents. We worked together as the most magical chapter of our lives unfolded.

separate cubicles needed for privacy
Jaishree Gajaraj, doctor

In government hospitals, a spouse accompanying the expectant mother might cause discomfort to other women unless the government provide separate cubicles in the delivery room, which isn’t a very good idea. This aspect can’t be ruled out either. In any busy labour ward with 20,000 deliveries a year, the patient-nurse ratio would be 5:1. The nurse would usually prioritise and identify patients that are fully dilated and give care accordingly. Having demanding relatives might lead to unnecessary chaos, accusations and verbal fights. The government first needs to address the issue of patient-nurse ratio and only then it would be an excellent programme.

Parents help motivate
Dr Manjula Anagani, gynaecologist

Yes, definitely it is a welcome move. However, the husband can be susceptible to agree for cesarean and other instrumental deliveries if he gets worried seeing the pain. Parents, on the other hand, help the mother in accruing more courage during the labour process.

Ensures Quality medical care
Shaarika Menon, psychologist

While the wait to welcome your baby is a cherished one, it comes with a score of doubts, tension and confusing emotions. The moment of truth tests many mothers at the birthing bed and the presence of a loved one acts as a ‘balm’.

It is a common practice in western countries and in few private and corporate hospitals in India as well. This helps the couple bond at the maximum level as parents as well as partners, and aids in bringing a sense of equal responsibility as parents from the word go. The possible bullying or misbehavior from some hospital staff inside the labour room (as many women report) can also be avoided.

Moreover, having someone to help for last minute decisions at the crucial moment can help mortality as well as the emotional and physical health of the mother. It may also help in easing post-partum issues. Welcoming a child must be a happy affair and nothing like experiencing it with your loved ones around you. Happy birthing!

An elated experience
Praful Shah, parent

This step will definitely assure the safety of the mother and will be really good if it is implemented in hospitals across the country. My experience in the labour room for both my children was amazing. Giving birth is the mother’s job but witnessing the delivery is an exhilarating experience for the father. This step will provide transparency over the whole delivery procedure. The journey of childbirth is overwhelming and I would want all new parents to experience it

Transparency, trust in medical professional
Roopesh BN, psychologist

I completely agree, especially to have the spouse assist in the labour room. This will not only be a support to the expectant mother but will also prevent abuse, provide better understanding and comfort psychologically, would bring in transparency and trust in the medical professional. People waiting outside also experiences great trauma. Husband's role is crucial and it will help building a strong emotional bond between couples and share responsibility.

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