The National, Friday 17th May 2013
By ELIZABETH MIAE
A STUDY has recommended that women in labour should be supported at the hospital by a guardian of their choice.
The study was carried out by Dr Nancy Buasi, a midwifery lecturer at the University of Papua New Guinea School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
She is also president of the PNG Midwifery Society at the Port Moresby General Hospital’s labour ward.
Buasi said in her findings that the midwives believed it would help ease the burden on them especially when they were short in numbers.
One of the midwives had told Buasi in an interview that “it is good for Port Moresby General Hospital’s labour ward because it is always busy, there is poor midwives’ attendance, the workload is always heavy, and therefore birthing women are not given the best of care”.
Another said: “It will ease some burden of the midwives (so that they can give) the basic care and most coaching will come from the support person.
“The midwives can then concentrate on the very sick birthing women.”
Another said: “At least somebody she knows is right there with her and doing all the things that the mother needs such as personal hygiene, assurance, massaging her back, giving sips of water and providing tender loving care.”
Buasi interviewed 22 midwives 16 of whom supported the idea while only two were against it.
She also interviewed 25 women in labour over a two-month period on the provision of support by a guardian of their choice.
One woman said: “I feel that it is a very good idea, to have a support person as they assist to prepare you for labour and to be at ease.”
One woman who expressed her understanding that it was unusual to have a support person in the POMGH labour ward said: “I felt very privileged since at PMGH, no support person is allowed in during labour, this is good.”
Buasi said midwives were being pushed around and not providing the care and support to women in labour which was the most important thing they should be doing.