Maternity care in Sweden is in crisis. Birth centers have been shut down. Hospitals are understaffed.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
I read Bodil Frey’s post about how the Swedish Princesses are birthing and knew we needed to get it translated.
Enjoy this guest post by doula Bodil Frey and learn more about her below.
The Royal family of Sweden is now pushing for maternity care that is individualized and safe for everyone!
Maybe it is not done intentionally, but they do so through their example. When the three Princesses gave birth, they got a super personalized, high quality care. They got what the majority of the pregnant Swedish women wish for: A midwife they get to know before the birth. Someone to discuss their preferences with.
Someone who will also be with them at the birth.
The Swedish newspaper Expressen wrote about Princess Sofias birth: ” – We had prepared a team according to their wishes,” says doctor Sophia Brismar Wendel. The happy day was planned in detail throughout several months. The team from the hospital and the parents-to-be met a number of times during the last months, to plan for the birth. ”
Maternity care in Sweden is supposed to be equal.
So would it be too much to ask for if every woman could plan for her birth this way. With the midwifes who are going to be there for her? I think not! The security and comfort gained from a relationship with her providers decreases fear and stress during pregnancy and birth. Thus, improving outcomes for mothers and babies.
Why should only Royalty have access to this quality of maternity care?
Continuity of care is not too expensive. It is possible to organize maternity care so that a small team of midwives follow the woman through pregnancy, birth and postpartum. It can all be in the same ward, instead of in separate ones, each with their own separate staff. There was only one unit in Sweden working with a continuity of care model, Södra BB, but it is now closed.
Economic reasons are not valid
to deny pregnant women in Sweden the same quality of care as the Princesses get.
The politicians have now the task to commit to equal health care for all, with the Princesses as a benchmark.
This post was originally posted in Swedish on En Bra Start.
Bodil Frey has worked as Doula and Childbirth Educator for 14 years. She lives with her family in the Gothenburg area, has three children and two grandchildren.
Bodil co-founded the organization ”Födelsehuset” in 2007, with the purpose to improve birthing care in Sweden.
She feels that doula care should be available to everyone who needs it. Bodil has started tax-funded projects to make doulas available to single pregnant women and to immigrant women who do not speak Swedish. Women can now have a ”cultural interpreter and doula”, who helps them with support and communication before and during the birth, thereby improving birth outcomes for mother and baby.
Her newest project makes postpartum doulas available to women who do not speak Swedish (in Gothenburg and Karlstad). It will also be possible for pregnant Swedish women in difficult situations to have cost-free doula support. The organization ”Tidigt Föräldrastöd” owns this project, and Allmänna Arvsfonden provides the funding.
You can find out more about Bodil Frey at http://enbrastart.se/