Doctors don't speak to mothers enough

Communication deficits after birth - midwives and doctors talk too little to mothers

According to the results of a survey published yesterday by the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Barmer GEK, the communication between doctors and midwives with mothers after birth shows considerable deficits. Overall, the interviewed mothers were quite satisfied with the care, but many criticized that the midwives and doctors had spoken to them too little after the birth. This also applied to more serious medical interventions, such as a Caesarean section.

More than 1,500 women who had had a child in 2011 were interviewed as part of the 2012 health monitor of the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Barmer GEK. Almost a third of the births were cesarean. Many of the women surveyed criticized the lack of exchange with doctors and midwives after the birth. "In this way, more than a quarter of women with a Caesarean section confirm that no one spoke to them after birth," reports the Barmer GEK.

No opportunity to talk to midwives and doctors after childbirth The overall satisfaction of mothers with care during pregnancy, before birth and in the puerperium is gratifyingly high. Here the mothers gave very good values ​​between eight and nine points on a scale of one to ten. In particular, the care given by the midwives during childbirth was strongly appreciated, according to the Barmer GEK. However, the satisfaction of the mothers with the care after the birth was less positive. Many complained about deficits in communication. A third of the women who were born naturally had “no opportunity to talk to the doctor or midwife afterwards,” reports the Barmer GEK.

Communication after Caesarean sections especially important More than 25 percent of women with Caesarean sections confirmed that no one had spoken to them after the birth. According to Petra Kolip from the University of Bielefeld, co-author of the study, "a sufficiently long informational discussion before birth and a joint follow-up at least after a caesarean section" should actually "be part of the standard of obstetrics practice." Because medical interventions during childbirth and the caesarean section are "Massive interventions with which doctors and midwives must not leave mothers alone."

Improvements in communication required If there was a conversation between mothers and midwives or doctors after the birth, according to the results of the current survey, this was mostly extremely scarce. Only seven percent of the mothers could speak to the midwives for more than thirty minutes after birth. Only two percent of the women interviewed had a conversation with the doctors lasting longer than half an hour. Improvements seem to be urgently needed here, because on the part of mothers there is often a considerable need for communication, especially after heavier births. The doctors and midwives should take the necessary time, which, however, often seems difficult in the stressful everyday life of a clinic, even from a cost perspective. (fp)

Also read:
Every third child comes by caesarean section
Regional differences in Caesarean section births
Every third baby is born by caesarean section
Cesarean section or natural birth?
Caesarean section increases the risk of being overweight
Caesarean section increases type I diabetes risk
Every third child is born by Caesarean section

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