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To think the new language guide for midwives is a good thing?

(9 Posts)
sunshinestorm Sat 10-Feb-18 10:45:02

So basically the British Medical Journal has published a table of common language choices used by midwives with alternative SUGGESTIONS that are more respectful.

For example, saying 'good job' instead of 'good girl' to a woman in labour, as the constant use of 'good girl' is patronising and doesn't really recognise the woman as an autonomous adult. I completely agree with this, 'good girl' is awful for anyone who isn't a small child. Another one was not talking about the women like they're not in the room by saying 'she's doing this/she needs this' ect but to just use their name instead (basic manners!)

The overwhelming reaction is that it's ridiculous, PC nonsense, women should be grateful for a safe birth and not expect good treatment, women in labour don't care anyway ect

Personally I think it's a really good thing to encourage health professionals to consider their language choices. A lot of the language used towards women in maternity care is disrespectful and undignified, it's a small change that can pave the way to bigger shifts in achieving positive birth experiences for women. Why are people getting so angry about some suggestions of how to treat women with a bit of respect and improve their experience?

damnsandra Sat 10-Feb-18 10:48:17

I've seen a tide change of how we speak to elderly patients (thank goodness). I've never called a patient honey/love/dear etc. I'm a 40 yo female physio.

I ask what they'd like to be called. Mostly it'll be their first name, and occasionally it'll be Mrs X. It's not difficult, it's just respectful so I think yes, I'd much rather be told 'well done sandra' than 'good girl sandra'

Namechanged1001 Sat 10-Feb-18 10:51:00

I work with midwives all the time a d not once have I heard one call anyone a good girl. Tbh while in the throes of labour I wouldn't care anyway. I think its another way of allowing patients to sue for mental trauma etc. Step to far in my opinion

ReinettePompadour Sat 10-Feb-18 10:58:18

They first started this when I had my first 23 years ago. Cant believe they are still making suggestions on how to talk to people.

I do remember in the throws of labour the midwife saying 'well done Reinette, keep going Reinette' and I was thinking whos Reinette? Only my mother called me Reinette and it was never in a nice way. I think the midwife just picked up my name from my forms. I found it really annoying.

If the midwife is talking to another colleague then I actually dont mind them referring to me as 'she'. I do however object to the overuse of my name by a stranger/professional. My midwife must have said my name more times during my labour than my mother ever has in my entire life confused

sunshinestorm Sat 10-Feb-18 10:59:53

I definitely cared when I was in labour though, I was constantly talked about like I wasn't in the room and it contributed to it being a negative experience. Some women don't care but they can't speak for everyone. It would have been so so easy for them to use my name and include me in the conversation. We are taught from childhood that as basic manners.
This table is just a list of suggestions and encourages midwives and doctors to consider what and how they say things. It's not a set of rules or excuses for women to sue. Just encouraging a bit of humanity and respect and actually recognising women as actual adults.

JustVent Sat 10-Feb-18 11:19:00

I had my blood taken by and HCA this week who was at least 10 years younger than me and she called me darling. hmm

I totally 100% agree with the phrases that midwives are being asked to use, or not use.
‘Good girl’ is awful. And talking about the patient being a ‘multip’ rather than her name, or saying ‘she’ while she is in the room.
Anything like that is absolutely disrespectful, I thankfully never had a midwife like that.

WhippinPiccadilly1 Sat 10-Feb-18 11:25:27

I'm a midwife, and these are not terms I use, nor have heard others use. I've been in midwifery for 14 years.

I can honestly say I've never heard anyone use the phrase "good girl".

I guess it depends on where you work/live? I've been in 4 different maternity units and it isn't something familiar to me.

sunshinestorm Sat 10-Feb-18 11:32:43

Whopping that's really good to hear. I've heard 'good girl' on One Born quite a few times but thankfully never had it said to me. I did experience being spoken as 'she' whilst I was in the room both times however

ForalltheSaints Sat 10-Feb-18 14:44:28

Well done to the BMJ with some sensible advice.

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