I value each of my clients, and one way I show how much I value my clients is to treat them respectfully. I respect my clients for doing the research and understanding what is involved in having a home birth. Deciding home birth is best for their family means doing birth differently than how over 98% of births happen in the US and that in and of itself demands respect. I love getting to know each of my clients, thier unique needs, wants and desires. Learning about thier concerns and helping them get information to address the concerns is another way I can show respect. I do not tell my clients what they have to do, instead I share resources that help them investigate all the options, risks and benefits of each. I am delighted when my clients bring new resources to my attention. My clients decide what is best for thier individual situation and I do my best to ensure that what they decide is what we do. I enjoy getting to know my client's values, and learn about thier culture. I have served Amish clients, military clients, Catholic clients, clients who are business owners etc. I have learned so much and have a greater appreciation for the issues my clients navigate. I am richer for serving such a diverse clientele.
I get frustrated when I hear about medical providers who do not provide respectful care. Attempting to coerce someone to agree to medical care, not providing fully informed consent, threatening that insurance won't pay because someone does not agree to the provider's recommendations are all disrespectful. Not listening to someone's concerns and issues, and not answering questions is also disrespectful.
I allow time during my appointments for not only making clinical assessments but discussion as well. I want to know and understand my client's concerns and any issues that they may be having. I want to work with them to address those things in the manner they are most comfortable with. I want my clients to ask questions and I want to have the time to fully answer those questions. By limiting the number of clients I serve, I am able to have the time (I plan for one hour) at appointments for questions, discussions and education. I also have the freedom to take longer at appointments or schedule time for a phone call or another appointment if needed. Clients need to be heard, valued and able to participate in thier health care. Having a small midiwfery practice lets me take the time my clients need and gives me the opportunity to treat my clients respectfully in every aspect of their care. Respectful care should be a minimum standard for all care providers, but sadly it is not. In my midwifery practice, I treat my clients with utmost respect. They are entitled to nothing less.