Your role in caring for young women during labour
Stop reading for a moment and think why do many women deliver at home even though there are health facilities that provide safe and clean delivery services?
One of the major reasons for women not coming to health facilities for delivery services is the lack of emotional care during labour. At home they are surrounded by lots of caring people, both family members and neighbours, who can give emotional support during labour. This is very important for a woman who is in labour pain. For them, the emotional care is superior to any other care they might think of. When they decide to come to your health facility, it means they will miss all the emotional care they could get just by being at home. In addition to the medical skills that you need to have to assist safe and clean delivery, you should have and develop skills to provide emotional care for a labouring young woman.
To successfully provide support for young women during labour requires patience, understanding, compassion and caring. You need to create an atmosphere of inclusion involving their family and/or supporter(s). You will also increase everyone's confidence and trust in you if you offer explanations for what the woman is experiencing and for all your actions. Give plenty of reassurance and encouragement. When preparing to perform examinations and procedures, explain to the young woman and her supporter(s) what you will be doing and why; perform manoeuvres slowly and gently. If you need help or cooperation from the labouring young woman or her helper, explain what you need them to do and why. Use firm but caring speech to get the young woman's attention. Shouting is never acceptable.