Do Women Have a Choice in Their Pregnancy Care: International Women's Day 2022
We live in a free world but still struggle with gender bias every day. Be it discrimination or stereotypes; women deserve an equitable world that is diverse yet inclusive. International Women's Day is held on 8th March every year to celebrate the achievement of women in a male-dominated society, to ensure women get their rightful place in society and educate everyone about the cause. One area where women's choices require more attention is maternity care. Let's take a deeper look into women's choices in maternity care!
#BreaktheBias: Every Woman Has the Right to Be Responsible for Herself!
The theme for International Women's Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias. We are responsible for our actions and thoughts every day. But is that the case with women? Not really! What's appalling is that most women do not have a say and have others make decisions for them, even when it comes to maternity care.
Getting pregnant and the entire maternity journey is special and unique to every woman. Giving a woman the choice is essential because it is her body and her baby. A woman's pregnancy and the birthing journey significantly influence the rest of her life and her baby's. Maternity care should always focus on the woman; every woman deserves this care and the options to choose from during her pregnancy.
Choices That Women Have During Pregnancy
To give women quality maternity care, they must have the option to make decisions in the following areas:
The right to choose
Pregnancy news is a matter of joy for most couples and families. However, choosing to go ahead with the pregnancy or terminate it lies with the mother. They must be able to determine whether they wish to be a mother or undergo an abortion without pressure from those around them.
The right to select the type of antenatal care they wish to receive
Women have the right to choose the type of antenatal care they wish to have – private, semi-private or public, based on their needs, what is covered by insurance, where the doctor prefers and what they think is suitable for their baby.
The preference to rest whenever they need to
Pregnancy can be tiring, especially in the first and third trimesters. Women should have the freedom to choose when they wish to rest and when they want to work or go about their routine activities. It is common to find pregnant women being told to rest all day or quit their jobs to look after themselves and their unborn children.
The right to choose healthy eating habits and nutritional supplements
All pregnant women must be able to make informed choices about what is best for their health and their baby's. From eating a well-balanced diet loaded with nutrients to the choice of nutritional supplements and prenatal vitamins- a woman should have the option to pick what she thinks is best for her.
The right to choose how to maintain a work-life balance during pregnancy
Women must be given the choice and freedom to determine how to maintain their work-life balance during pregnancy. Some of the ways how women can maintain work-life balance are:
- Plan appointments and leaves in advance
- Make a to-do list for the following day and prioritise work accordingly
- Have the freedom not to carry work home from the office
- The flexibility to work from home when they do not feel well enough to go to the office
- Ask their company or workplace for a flexible work schedule during pregnancy
As a would-be-mother, here are some ways women can empower themselves to make the right choices and voice their opinion about their pregnancy care:
- Gain as much knowledge and awareness of all the possibilities in a given situation.
- Understand the responsibilities of being a mother and the decisions they make.
- Make unbiased choices that are not governed by pressure or promotion.
- Gain information about the various processes and the consequences of the different choices.
- Ask doctors, the healthcare team, friends and family as many questions as possible.
- Find the support they need from groups or people in their inner circle.
Giving women all the choice and discretion in their pregnancy and maternity enhances their journey into motherhood. While many women find supportive partners, even single mothers and their little ones are entitled to love, care and support as others.
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Disclaimer: This blog/publication/editorial/article is meant for awareness/educational purposes and does not constitute or imply an endorsement, sponsorship, or recommendation of any products. Please consult your doctor/healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication, or exercise.