I was recently reviewing some of the literature around women’s satisfaction with childbirth. Long ago, in the 1980s, I remember the excitement caused by Jo Green’s work in Cambridge which found that women who have higher expectations of labour generally have births with which they are satisfied, and women who anticipate that the labour will be painful and humiliating generally have very difficult experiences. Green’s central theme was that it is the sense of being in control, of yourself and your environment, that is the key to women’s emerging from labour and birth in a psychologically healthy state. Since her ground-breaking work, there have been numerous other studies from across the world examining childbirth satisfaction. All have come to the same conclusion - it’s the control that counts.
At the Relationships Alliance Summit yesterday, the Prime Minister stated his commitment to supporting families, to building a strong society ‘from the family up’, to delivering ‘the relationship agenda’. He wants couples to have more time to spend together by extending flexible working arrangements. He believes that government should do everything possible to support families in Britain today.
I recently read an article which challenged the independence of education for birth and parenthood, suggesting that it is used by government (the author was not from the UK) as a means of furthering its own agenda to reduce expenditure on public services.
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