The Safety, Rights, And Self Determination Of The Woman

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In the western world, the process of labour and birth is becoming highly medicalised with a greater number of interventions and a rise in the number of caesarean sections performed (Walsh & Devane, 2012). With this in mind, it is important to examine the reasons behind this, and whether particular models of care demonstrate differences in the safety, rights and self-determination of the woman. This paper will also consider the influence of environmental and cultural factors and the impact of these in labour and birth. The two models of care that will be considered are private obstetric care and caseload midwifery care. To define these models; obstetrician led care involves the woman paying a private obstetrician to provide antenatal care in his/her consulting rooms, and once the woman has given birth, she is cared for by rostered midwives who provide standard postnatal care on the ward (Tracy et al., 2014). On the other end of the scale, Caseload midwives care for women on more of a one to one basis, with one primary midwife being the primary care giver in the antenatal, intra-partum and early postnatal period (McLachlan et al., 2012). This model of care provides greater continuity of care and allows the woman and health care professional to develop relationship continuity (McLachlan et al., 2012). Sandall, Hatem, Devane, Soltani & Gates (2009) noted caseload midwifery care to be more holistic, focusing not only on the physiological aspects of pregnancy but also the
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