Mother-Friendly LDR Rooms

Mother-Friendly LDR RoomsMother-Friendly LDR Rooms

One of the main goals of the 2014 Health Reform Plan is to reduce the cesarean delivery rate by improving safety in natural childbirths.

“As the first step towards reducing c-section, the Health Ministry declared natural delivery free of cost in all state-run hospitals,” said Farah Babaei, head of the Health Ministry’s Midwifery Office, the Persian language weekly ‘Salamat’ reported.

During the two-year period, the measure helped reduce c-sections by 6.5%, she said.

Previously, the c-section rate was 56.5% of all births but now the figure has dropped to 50%. According to the World Health Organization the “ideal rate” for c-section is 15% of all births. Therefore, there is still a long way to go to achieve the rate.

Although the importance of free natural births in reducing c-sections cannot be ignored, it is not enough to encourage all pregnant women to choose natural delivery, as there are other factors which encourage them to opt for c-section.

“Fear of pain during labor and the nosy, non-private and stressful environment in natural birth wards in state-run hospitals are the main reasons for choosing caesarean births,” Babaei said.

With the aim to encourage natural births by providing a pleasant, private environment for pregnant women, 1,770 Labor-Delivery-Recovery (LDR) rooms (where women can give birth and stay there for 2 hours after delivery) have been planned to be constructed in 336 state-run hospitals across the country.  So far, the project has progressed 42%.

Since the implementation of health reforms, free 8-session educational courses have been provided to 140,000 pregnant women in childbirth skills centers established in 15 universities of medical sciences.

During the preparatory courses women are taught how to cope with labor pain.  Around 30,000 midwives across the country provide a wide range of services to expectant mothers, Babaei said.

According to the National Organization for Civil Registration, around 350,000 deliveries were registered in the country since the beginning of the Iranian year in March, which means around 4,000 babies per day so far.

Last year, more than 1.5 million babies were born in Iran.