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Birthrights
'Empowering the woman to own her birth'
A midwife and a 'doula' describe their roles during pregnancy and the difficulties of homebirths in Hungary.
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2011 15:02
Nandu Noll

Nandu Noll, a certified professional midwife, talks about midwifery training and the differences between hospital and home births in Hungary.

"In a home setting the woman after a birth usually the first thing she does is saying thank you to the husband and giving him a big kiss, and in a hospital setting she is usually saying thank you to the doctor right away. And I think that is a very significant difference, because the woman might think that the doctor was the one who actually delivered the baby in the hospital. And in a home setting she is sure that she was the one who brought the child into the world and gives thanks to the husband for giving her that opportunity. The main difference is owning the birth - whose birth is it? At home it's the woman's birth, always. And midwifery care is about empowering the woman to own her birth."

Reka Morvay

Reka Morvay describes the role of the 'doula' and the midwife and shares her view on the difference between hospital and home births.

"She [the doula] doesn't speak for the mother, she doesn't make decisions for the mother, she doesn't do any kind of clinical examinations, she is only there in her role as a support person.

"Very often if the hospital staff knows that it was a homebirth they become very, very hostile. They insult the woman and they tell her that she is criminally irresponsible, that she is a horrible person. I mean, if you can imagine, they are in the middle of labour and, you are going to hospital because either you have a problem, or you are just tired and in pain and you just want some pain medication. I've heard stories where women who went in from a home birth to get pain medication were told 'Well, this is what you signed up for so why would you want pain medication?' So they were refused."

Source:
Al Jazeera
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