If your care providers talk about what they will “let you” do or not do during labor, most likely they do not truly follow Woman-Centered Maternity Care.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) defines patient-centered care as: “Providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.”*
Woman-centered maternity care is modeled on patient-centered care, but relates specifically to maternity care. Also, I like that it doesn’t label the laboring mother as a ‘patient’. This makes sense, since she’s not sick. Birth is (usually) not an emergency; it’s an emergence.
For more information on this type of care, read Evidence Based Birth’s post on What is Patient-Centered Maternity Care?
*Institute on Medicine. “Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century“. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
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