Midwives Want To Ban Certain Words In Delivery Rooms

Calls for greater ‘respect’

Midwives Want To Ban Certain Words In Delivery Rooms Image: Pexels

Queensland midwives are calling for a cultural shift around the language used to describe childbirth.

Gold Coast midwife Amanda Bude told The Courier Mail women deserved greater respect by opting for words and phrases such as “slow labour” or “healthy baby” over “big baby” and “failure to progress”.

“A successful birth outcome starts when a woman is respected. Just look at birth trauma rates – one third of women describe their birth as traumatic,” she said.

Earlier in February, the British Medical Journal argued a change towards more empowering language was not simply “political correctness gone mad”.

Natalie Mobbs, Catherine Williams, Andrew D Weeks explained that “positive communication and interactions throughout the birthing process significantly affect the woman’s experience”.

“In practical terms, this means that those providing maternity care need to consider their use of language seriously,” they said.

“Not only as a way of respecting women’s views and ensuring that they are empowered to make decisions, but also in order to respect their human rights.

“This requires careful use of language, reflection on our own practice as caregivers, listening to women, and communicating appropriately, plainly, and respectfully to guide her through the complexities of maternity care.”

The British Medical Journal recommends avoiding these terms:

  • Big baby
  • Good girl
  • You must have a C-section
  • Delivered
  • Faliure to progress
  • High risk
  • Painful contractions

Instead, these are some suggested words to use:

  • Healthy baby
  • You are doing really well
  • I recommend a C-Section
  • Gave birth
  • Slow labour
  • Medically complex
  • Strong contractions