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In the current legal framework, there is no explicit recognition that ensures respect for women's rights regarding their reproductive decisions and their choice of a specific type of delivery and postpartum care. However, based on the above document, the hospitals of Belize are supposed to provide postpartum care, both in general and after a c-section or gyne surgeries.
|Companion At Birth Policy||
At page 2, Policy no.1 states: All expectant mothers will be allowed a family member /doula to accompany them at the time of admission to labor ward/unit for labor monitoring and childbirth attendance (vaginal or cesarean section). In brackets, it shows that childbirth can be either vaginal or cesarean section.
|Nurses and Midwives Registration Act||
The above Act requires all nurses and midwives to be registered in order to practice as a nurse or midwife. In order to be registered, guidelines are set out by the Nurses and Midwives Council Handbook.
|Nurses and Midwives Council Handbook||
In the handbook under Statutory Offences, it states
That women may be accompanied by the person of their choice during labor
That women in labor can drink fluids freely
That women can hug and breastfeed a baby at birth
That the umbilical cord be cut without haste, a few minutes after the baby is born
That the Caesarean method be used only in exceptional cases and once women have been informed and have given their consent
Explicit quality and warmth criteria for delivery and postpartum care
That breastfeeding be encouraged over other forms of feeding the newborn
The inclusion of culturally relevant labor and delivery techniques (e.g., use of traditional techniques under medical supervision)
|Companion At Birth Policy||
This Policy allows expectant mothers the opportunity to have a family member /doula to accompany them at the time of admission to labor ward/unit for labor monitoring and childbirth attendance (vaginal or cesarean section).
|Evidence-based Interventions Reduce Maternal and Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality Manual||
At page 73:
At page 70: 'Cord Clamping when Pulsation Ceased' - Under this, it states “Delayed clamping of the umbilical cord (between 1-3 minutes after birth or when pulsation ceased) is recommended in all births, while simultaneously start newborn essential care. The early clamping of the umbilical cord (1 minute after birth) is not recommended unless the newborn is asphyxiated, cannot be resuscitated with intact umbilical cord and need to be moved immediately to the resuscitation table.”
At page 73 under Immediate Postpartum: The healthy newborn, vaginal delivery or caesarean section, must be placed immediately - after birth -near the mother breasts in skin to skin contact, until the first feeding is completed. Also, Mother - Newborn rooming [together for 24 hours] improves the opportunity of attachment and optimal start of breastfeeding. The Evidence indicates that the mother gets the same amount and quality of sleep. C-section mothers require greater support.
At page 72: “Exclusive breastfeeding is based only on breast milk, including expressed breast milk, does not include intake of any other liquids [e.g. water] or food during the first 6 months of life” and state all pregnant women should be informed of the benefits of it.
|Preconception Case and Obstetrics||
At page 94:
|National Breastfeeding Policy of 1997||
While there was no mention of hugging, the National Breastfeeding Policy promotes breastfeeding a baby immediately after birth.
At page 5: “Breastmilk contains all the nutrients necessary for the growth and development of a healthy infant. No other supplements are needed until the infant reaches the age of 4-6 months.”
For scolding, mocking, using irony, insulting, threatening, humiliating, coercing, manipulating information, and/or denying treatment
The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Justice should determine a policy that respects and ensures women’s rights regarding their choice of a specific type of birth delivery and postpartum care, including the right to delivery with the nurse or midwife of their choice.
The Ministry of Health should develop a training program for medical personal with guidelines on providing humane delivery, childbirth, and postpartum care.
To ensure quality of care, the Ministry of Health should implement a feedback mechanism for people who have received care during pregnancy or childbirth to rate the medical services they were provided with.
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Formulate plans for strengthening mechanisms to detect problems during pregnancy, including the preconception stage, improve the quality of prenatal care and include an intercultural perspective, ensure the provision of safe blood for pregnancy, labor, and postpartum care, and enhance humane care during labor and birth and comprehensive perinatal care, bearing in mind the needs of women, boys, girls, and families