"In teaching nurses and midwives in the developing world to care for their patients, a core tenet is that respectful care is quality care," Catherine Carr, senior maternal health advisor for the Jhpiego/MCHIP-Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program, writes in this post in Huffington Post's "Global Motherhood" blog. "Around the globe, health-care workers are being trained in respectful, humanized care, because all patients, regardless of economic status or geographic location, deserve to be treated with reverence and consideration," she continues, adding, "Unfortunately, there is still a huge gap between the maternal care a pregnant woman should receive and what she actually experiences."
"The concept of 'safe motherhood' isn't just about ensuring a woman's physical safety or preventing her death or disability," Carr writes. "It is respect for a woman's basic human rights, including her autonomy, dignity, feelings, choices, and preferences, including companionship during maternity care," she adds, noting, "In Tanzania, researchers found that the strongest predictor of whether a woman chose to give birth in a health facility was not cost, distance to the facility, or available transportation; it was provider attitude." She concludes, "Health-care providers are entrusted with the safety, health, and well-being of their patients. As such, providers must be taught to show respect and compassion through their words and actions so that every woman is given the care she so richly deserves" (8/14).