I'm finishing a project where I analyze whether maternity care providers provide mother friendly care based off the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services Mother Friendly Childbirth Initiative so this technique for analyzing birth care is at the front of my thoughts still. So when I came across this segment of RoboMom, I could not help by apply the MCFI steps to what I observed.
Based on the segment, these are the steps that I see were broken:
Step 1 A, B & C: Husband, family members, doula and midwife were not present.
Step 4: Freedom of Position was not encouraged or allowed.
Step 6A: IV and Electronic Fetal Monitoring were used; both procedures which are not supported by research.
Step 8: Baby was not given directly to mother for skin to skin contact, bonding and breastfeeding. Baby was unnecessarily moved across the room for newborn exam.
Also referring to the preamble of the MCFI which contains something like The Birthing Woman's Bill of Rights, it appears that the birthing woman's preferences were not respected because the "voice" for her did not grant assent to her leg being supported in the human stirrup.
It is unknown from the segment whether the birth was medicated or not and if it was the case that mother felt encouraged by hospital staff to accept pain medication, Step 7 was also broken. Also unknown was whether this labor was augmented or induced by Pitocin which would have been breaking Step 6B.
Good news, an episiotomy was not performed. And it appears that the mother was allowed to push when she felt the urge and was not coached (strongly) by the providers present.
Lastly, and this may not a fair critique since who knows how lifelike this robot is, the doctor should not pull on the baby or placenta while they are being delivered. Such practices have a strong likelihood for doing more harm than good including increasing the likelihood of hemorrhage, retained placenta, perineal tears and physical trauma to the infant. If this were a real situation and the doctor did that, it could also be coded as negatively abiding by Step 6.
This is a project that I would really like to do using footage from TLC's Baby Story. If you think this sounds like fun, let me know. I don't have access to TLC or full episodes, so if you have recorded episodes or know if you can by seasons online, tell me.
I even have the spreadsheet to quickly code for each principle and step for the MCFI on hand!