Wednesday, December 5, 2007
More about length of post natal hospital stay
The subject of how long women should stay in hospital after the birth of a baby has arisen again after the sad death of a baby who went straight home after her birth and died shortly after. Carolyn McIntosh has written a very thoughtful post about this and I have nothing to add except my sincere condolences to all involved.
Carolyn has brought up one interesting point for discussion, which is the role of the primary birthing unit. A news piece on our national news suggested that primary birthing units are one answer to the shortage of post natal beds in large tertiary hospitals. I would certainly agree that primary birthing units are key to maternity services in New Zealand and else where; not just as a source of post natal care, but also as a strategy to reduce medical intervention in birth which leads to outcomes such as cesarean section.
We have been lobbying for a primary birthing unit in Dunedin for some years. I understand there is medical support for one that is attached to the hospital, but midwives in Dunedin believe it should be a 'stand alone' facility. This enables midwives to have complete control over the running of the unit and leaves them free to promote normal childbirth without interference.
I am sorry that I do not have time to go into this in any greater depth. I am writing this in Singapore, so I do not have any access to references that back up my claims. However, if you are interested in knowing more about this argument, please let me know and I will be happy to continue the discussion. Meanwhile, keep an eye on Carolyn's blog because I think she is going to look at this issue on greater depth.
Image: RNS Maternity Ward and cots - - RNSH