04 January 2018

In Jerusalem, St. Joseph Hospital promotes 'humanized childbirth'

We visited St. Joseph Hospital in Jerusalem, to learn about the tecnique used in water birth, already popular in other countries, and to document it.

Actuality and events

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Birth, as explained by Dr. Iman, an obstetrician at St. Joseph's Hospital in Jerusalem, is a natural physiological process.

During such an important event for the mother and the child, doctors give their best.

Here, priority is given to natural birth, although in some cases a caesarean section is necessary.

Iman Ramadan
Obstetrician – Obstetric/Maternity Department - St. Joseph Hospital - Jerusalem
"Here in the hospital, since the beginning [of our operation], we have had women who gave birth naturally and others who underwent caesarean section. We always try to reduce the percentage of caesarean sections, ensuring, as might be expected, the mother's and infant's well being and avoiding endangering their lives.”

For example, medical reasons for a planned cesarean section may include diabetic mothers, or in emergency cases, a larger than average fetal size.

The international medical community considers that the ideal incidence of Caesarean sections should be around 10% - 15%. However, as the World Health Organization indicates, this practice is becoming increasingly common in both the developed and the developing countries.

The director of the Department of Obstetrics of the St. Joseph Hospital, Dr. Samir Asfour, attributes this phenomenon to the fact that the caesarean section is a rapid procedure, while the natural birth requires more time.

Doctor Samir Asfour
"Throughout the world, the use of caesarean section is increasing: the highest percentage is found in Brazil, where it is practiced in 75-80% of cases. In Great Britain, the percentage is at 30%, in Ireland at 25%, here in Palestine at about 30-35%. There are countries that exceed Brazil, reaching 90%.”

These constantly increasing percentages are neutralized by the many practices that all around the world promote the so-called humanized childbirth, such as the water birth.

Doctor Samir Asfour
"As part of the birth in water, we are trying to offer women all the options available as in the rest of the world. Water birth is practiced mainly in Britain and it is said to make things easier for the mother; in this way, women can experience natural birth without experiencing acute pain.”

Another factor that makes the difference at birth is spiritual help!

Sister Valentina Sala
" I feel that every family, every child that comes into the world [here] with my assistance, is entrusted to me. For this reason, when I work, especially when a woman suffers or when the birth may present unforeseen complications, I resort to prayer. I pray often and I do it silently, because we take care of people of different religious backgrounds.”