Bunny Rabbit Essay

1753 words - 8 pages

This essay explores the partnership relationship between a midwife and the woman she is caring for within the context of law and ethics and relating to decision-making. The midwife-woman partnership can create an environment in which the woman can become empowered and her confidence as a woman and mother can be strengthened. Empowering women in healthcare provision enhances the woman’s ability to make informed decisions for herself and her family. Issues of law and ethics, such as the right to autonomy and informed decision-making and the right to consent to or refuse the provision of midwifery care will be highlighted along with how midwifery practice is influenced by regulatory boards ...view middle of the document...

, 2001 cited in Goldberg, 2009; Guilliland & Pairman, 1995; McCourt & Stevens, 2005; Siddiqui 1991; Katz Rothman, 1991 cited in Leap & Pairman, 2010). To do this midwives are required to view the relationship as one based on mutual learning and respect rather than considering themselves as the ‘expert’ (Guilliland & Pairman, 1995; Pairman, 1998 cited in Leap & Pairman, 2010). Relating to this idea of mutual learning and respect in partnership, Guilliland and Pairman (1995 cited in Leap & Pairman, 2010) make an interesting point, stating that if the goal of midwifery is to promote autonomy for women than the concept of advocacy in maternity care should be questioned. Also, Leap and Pairman (2010) argue that for a woman to feel empowered she should be advocating for herself. In most situations, the majority of women are capable of doing this, particularly in relationships of partnership where the midwife encourages the woman to access information and communicate her desires (Leap & Pairman, 2010). Developing a partnership relationship in which the midwife values the woman’s expertise is a skill that requires the midwife to be secure and confident in herself as both a woman and a midwife (Kirkham, 2000 cited in Leap & Pairman, 2010) as she must trust in the woman’s ability to monitor her baby’s wellbeing throughout pregnancy and early motherhood but also be able to sense when it is appropriate to intervene (Leap & Pairman, 2010). This ability requires the midwife to resist ‘making things better’ or ‘sorting things out’ as unnecessary intervention can lead to disempowerment of a woman by interfering with her self-confidence and self-determination (Leap & Pairman, 2010). Where ability for self-advocacy is reduced or absent the partnership relationship allows the midwife to speak on the woman’s behalf from a position of knowledge and trust that has been developed throughout the woman’s pregnancy (Leap & Pairman, 2010).

As stated above, autonomy and self-determination have a positive influence on how women view themselves. Green et al. stated in both 1988 and in 2000 (cited in Leap & Pairman, 2010) that women have stipulated that how they feel as new mothers is affected by the amount of autonomy they had during pregnancy, birth and early motherhood. Leap and Pairman (2010) go on to explain that involving women in decision-making enables women to learn about and gain confidence in the lifelong process of decision-making which involves weighing up risks and benefits. Another advantage of the partnership relationship is that it allows midwives to acknowledge that they also struggle with the uncertainty and complexity that can surround decision-making (Downe & McCourt, 2008 cited in Leap & Pairman, 2010). It is noted that for a woman to be able to make decisions regarding care she must be informed as to why certain procedures or treatments are recommended, what options are available and she must also be informed of the risks and benefits of each...

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