“The biggest difference compared to previous decades is that we devote much more time to mothers, because that is what they need the most. After all, childbirth is not just an act, but also care for the psyche and soul of the mother,” explains Petr Kolek, head of the gynecology and obstetrics department of the Faculty Thomayer Hospital in Prague.
The difference is also that women come to childbirth much better prepared than before. “Some women even read so much that they know more about childbirth than we do in quotes. Some women leave childbirth entirely up to us. And then there are women who want to give birth exactly as they write in their birth plan.”
Wishes of expectant mothers
However, according to the doctor, birth plans are no longer needed. “Virtually all the requirements in any birth plan are already met within the maternity ward. Women often wish not to be disturbed too much, they want to be examined less, they don’t want preparation, they want to have the umbilical cord tapped, etc. Today, in short, we are able to fulfill almost everything for women.”
However, if there is a need to deviate from the birth plan due to a risk to the child or the mother, doctors try to consult with the women about the matter. “We try to explain to them why we are doing something, we tell them what would happen if we didn’t do it. We want their approval, solidarity and trust.”
As a rule, the woman is released with the baby on the third or fourth day after giving birth. An ambulatory birth, when the mother leaves the hospital eight hours after giving birth, is no exception. “In this case, however, it is necessary for the parents to make an appointment in advance with a pediatrician who will be willing to take care of the baby, i.e. do all the screenings and vaccinations that are normally done in the maternity ward for the first 72 hours.”
A movement of feelings
The head of the Thomayer Hospital considers the so-called bonding, i.e. the first placing of the baby on the mother’s chest, to be the most beautiful moment. “That’s the moment when tears well up in my eyes and when I call on my dad to record this moment. The movement of feelings in parents is very important and belongs to the cascade of the emergence of the parental instinct and the parental relationship. If bonding with the mother is not possible, we bond with the father.”