The words a midwife chooses to use are integral to the care she gives. Changes in the corresponding language mirror the development of medical knowledge. Over time, some phrases become commonplace while others fall out of use. The importance of language usage in midwifery, especially during pregnancy, cannot be overstated.
Royal College Of Midwives Initiative Re: Birth
The Royal College of Midwives began studying the effect language has on females in 2020. The Re: Birth initiative set out to standardize pregnancy-related terminology so that individuals providing and receiving maternity care would all be on the same page.
This was the first study of its type to solicit feedback on the preferred language for describing labor and delivery from the maternity community (including new moms and healthcare providers). The research confirmed that many mothers cared more about having a good experience, being listened to, and feeling secure during childbirth than about the specifics of their delivery.
The results were summarized in a paper released by the Royal College of Midwives last year, and a revised pocket handbook is being distributed to midwives this year.
6 Terms Replaced
Previously, “delivery” was the acceptable phrase, but now “birth” has occurred. Women and medical staff alike preferred detailed accounts of what occurred during labor and delivery, as precise as possible. “Birth with ventouse,” “birth with forceps,” etc.
Low Risk / High Risk
As an alternative to “low risk,” the term “universal care requirements” is being utilized. While “additional care requirements” is the accepted synonym for “high risk” these days. It is crucial that pregnant women feel safe and secure since the term “risk” connotes unpredictability.
Midwives and other medical personnel have traditionally used the phrase “normal birth” to refer to a vaginal delivery that occurs naturally and physiologically. What, exactly, constitutes “normalcy?” Is it fair to call someone “odd” if they did not have a “normal” delivery?
“Spontaneous vaginal birth” is the favored word now since it encompasses labor that occurs naturally without major medical treatments like induction or oxytocin. It also includes natural vaginal births that don’t involve any medical tools.
In recent years, “cesarean birth” has become the universally accepted phrase for a surgical cesarean section. This is meant to be used instead of the more alarming phrase “emergency.” Rather than “emergency cesarean,” the phrase “unplanned cesarean delivery” is now often used.
The term “incompetent cervix” suggests a lack of ability on the part of the patient. Therefore, “cervical insufficiency” is the