Woman-centred care...why?


"The UN Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health seeks to ensure that not only do women survive childbirth complications if they arise, but also that they thrive and reach their full potential for health and life. In line with this objective, this guideline brings together existing and new recommendations that address not only the clinical requirements for a safe labour and childbirth but also meet the psychological and emotional needs of women. It seeks to ensure that women give birth in an environment that in addition to being safe from a medical perspective also allows them to have a sense of control through involvement in decision making and which leaves them with a sense of personal achievement. Adopting a woman-centred philosophy and a human-rights based approach opens the door to many of the care options that women want such as the right to have a companion of choice with them throughout the labour and birth as well as the freedom to move around during the early stages of labour and to choose their position for birth. These recommendations are all evidence-based, optimize health and well-being, and have been shown to have a positive impact on women’s experience of childbirth."

So, what is Woman-Centred Care?...Today’s gold standard in midwifery practice places women at the centre of their care. The philosophy statement of the International Confederation of Midwives states that woman-centred care is considered central to midwifery practice and underpins the context of the woman’s unique needs, expectations and aspirations: recognising her right to self-determination in terms of choice, control and continuity of care; and addressing her social, emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual and cultural needs and expectations. In the context of pregnancy and childbirth, the baby’s needs are also considered within woman-centred care planning and practice.

Informed choice in pregnancy and childbirth requires knowledge of evidence-based practice, and midwives and healthcare practitioners have a responsibility to provide current evidence of best practice to women in their care. It is very important that women feel comfortable to ask questions to help inform their decision-making for their childbearing journey.


Ultimately the best way to ensure your wishes are considered, is to carefully consider and complete a caesarean care birth plan.