As put forth in the article titled Disrespect and Abuse in Childbirth and Respectful Maternity Care, published by the White Ribbon Alliance, is the challenge of over-medicalization. Over-medicalization refers to the excessive or inappropriate use of interventions (White Ribbon Alliance, n.d.). In the context of childbirth, this can include interventions related to induction and augmentation, such as the use of pitocin, electronic fetal monitoring (EFM), amniotomy, and epidural. While these procedures are appropriate (and necessary) at times, when overused, they can contribute to morbidity and mortality (Miller, et al., 2016). During my clinical experience at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, I observed over-medicalization occur, and based on conversations with the staff, assumed its implementation to be part of standard practice
While reflecting upon my experience in Labor and Delivery (L&D) at Franklin Square Hospital, it’s only fair to explore my own identity and how it’s presence may influence how I view care. My late grandmother Mary, the woman who effectively raised me and I endearingly called ‘Mom’, birthed three out of her four children in her own home. When I was a young child, she encouraged me to adopt natural remedies as a first line of defense, and often in lieu of a doctor’s care. Her interest in ‘complimentary’ healthcare inevitably influenced my view on health ; wellness, and in many ways, has helped shape my academic journey. In fact, it was a personal interest in Ina May Gaskin and her many books on Midwifery which initially piqued my interest in the field of nursing. As such, I prefer to approach all care with an attempt of inflicting the least amount of harm possible, while still effectively achieving the necessary outcome – an ethical principle referred to as nonmaleficence. This bias is worth noting, as it may help to explain why I perceived the behavior I observed in L;D to be an example of over-medicalization.