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Language around birth should be less judgemental, midwives' report says

The language used around childbirth should be less judgemental and more personal, a report led by midwives has found.

Most women consulted said terms such as "normal birth" should not be used, it says.

The report recommends asking pregnant women what language feels right for them.

Maternity care has been under the spotlight after a recent review found failures had led to baby deaths.

The new guidance "puts women's choices at its heart, so that they are in the driving seat when it comes to how their labour and birth are described", Royal College of Midwives chief executive Gill Walton said.

About 1,500 women who had given birth in the past five years gave their views. Most preferred the term "spontaneous vaginal birth" to "normal birth", "natural birth" or "unassisted birth". Words suggesting "failure", "incompetence" or "lack of maternal effort" should also be avoided, they said.

They wanted labour and birth to be a positive experience and for the language used to be non-judgemental, accurate and clear.

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Source: BBC News, 15 June 2022


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