Maternity coaching service at Kocaeli-based hospitals encourages women to have normal delivery instead of caesarean in exclusive classes with the participation of dieticians, psychologist as well as midwives. Expectant mothers are instructed with breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. The service is currently offered at five public hospitals, initiated by the Association of Kocaeli Public Hospitals.
Similar to the rest of the world, the number of expectant mothers in Turkey choosing to have a caesarean is on rise. Şenol Ergüney, the association's general secretary, said 540 pregnant women are taking maternity coaching service, which has been running since the last year. Trainers use audio and visual materials in training to alleviate the fears and concerns of pregnant women. "They are afraid of delivery and say 'I prefer caesarean as it is easier.' In our classes, they are provided the necessary physiological mentoring to feel themselves ready for delivery. Midwives always help them as they can call them anytime they wish," he said. Expectant mothers strengthen abdominal muscles accompanied with breathing exercises, which help them a great deal during delivery.
Maternity mentoring service in Kocaeli is becoming more popular as hospitals receive more requests with more women gaining awareness that normal delivery is healthier than having a caesarean. The hospitals also have exclusive rooms allocated for expectant mothers after delivery. "When labor begins, they are brought to the hospital and we place them in special rooms where they feel themselves at home. As they are aware of everything associated with delivery, all goes smoothly. Until the time they are discharged from hospital, both the mother and her baby are provided care under good conditions," Ergüney continued.
Ayla Çelik Kaydı, one of the trainers, said they teach mothers how to deal with labor pain. "However, we do not use the word 'pain' to avoid increasing their concerns. Instead I say 'wave-like labor contractions.' We try to say delivery is not as difficult as thought if the mother is ready. We teach them some massage techniques for relaxation. If they have any problem after delivery, they can contact us," she said. Elif Çepel, an expectant mother, said she is excited to see her baby and is no longer afraid of delivery after taking the classes. Another participant, Nazlı Erdoğan, also a health staff, said her second delivery was smoother than the first, stressing the benefits of the service.