Health Promotion in Realtion to a Midwife Essay

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In 1946 the World Health Organisation (WHO) defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. This definition integrates the main concepts of health and identifies that health can be viewed differently by individuals and groups (Bowden, 2006). Health and well-being are the result of a combination of physical, social, intellectual and emotional factors (Dunkley, 2000a). The concept of health promotion has emerged with the increasing realisation in society that our health is one of our most valuable personal assets, as well as an asset for society (Crafter, 1997). The Health Promotion Agency (2008) describes health promotion as a process enabling people to …show more content…
Women are advised that if they breastfeed their health and that of their baby will benefit (Piper, 2005). If a woman chooses not to breastfeed, she may experience guilt feelings and start to avoid the midwife, or not share future issues of concern because she is reluctant to receive advice which is inconsistent with her own beliefs and ideas (Battersby, 2000). Non-judgmental support of breastfeeding rather than loaded advice-giving may be more appropriate as it is unethical for the midwife to coerce and persuade women into breastfeeding (Cribb and Duncan, 2002). It is not the role of the midwife to persuade, but to inform (Davis, 2002). The health persuasion technique may be useful in the short-term to raise awareness, but it is unlikely to be effective in itself as it is not enough to simply tell women why breast is best and expect them to choose to breastfeed (Entwistle et al, 2007). There is no opportunity for women to ask questions, follow long conversations or direct the dialogue to areas where they need knowledge (Dunkley, 2000a). Language barriers may also arise, midwives and women may not share the same first language, or women may not understand the medical terms related to the health benefits of breastfeeding (Bright, 1997). Health persuasion can increase the feeling of powerlessness in women; the total opposite of empowerment, which is the core principle of midwifery