Nurse Patrícia Sancho

Nurse Tito Manuel Félix

Humanize and innovate maternal healthcare

HPA Magazine 6


Humanization of childbirth in the context of the hospital is increasingly a current trend, because it allows the parents to voice their expectations – relative to what they want for “their birth” – with the conditions offered by the hospital units.



There are many, and increasingly more, expectant parents who prepare a plan before the birth and discuss it with the health team – the obstetrician and nurse specialising in maternal health and obstetrics – during the prenatal consultations. The basic and primary principle that affects the respect and acceptance of certain demands is always the safety of the mother and the baby. With this prerequisite, it is always easy to reach a final version of the childbirth plan, because what both the healthcare team and the expectant parents want most of all is a happy ending. 
From our experience throughout the 6 years that the maternity ward has been running at the Hospital Particular de Gambelas, we have learned that the main things expectant parents worry about, whether through planning for the birth or in informal conversations are: 

  • respect for their privacy;
  • the possibility of ambulation during labour;
  • the positions for the delivery;
  • the permanent presence of the father during a normal or caesarean delivery;
  • the possibility of the father cutting the umbilical cord;
  • measures to control the pain;
  • early bonding;

In this sense, the entire team and physical space has been adapted, modernised and innovated, in keeping with the expectations and hopes of the expectant parents being fully met. The maternity ward of the Gambelas Hospital has private labour and delivery rooms with private bathrooms, which offer total respect for privacy. The professionals come and intervene whenever necessary or when requested. We offer a wireless sound system so that the patients can enjoy their own music. The father, or any significant family member indicated by the mother is allowed without restrictions during labour and delivery. The telemetries and Omniview system allow continuous or intermittent cardiotocography (CTG) monitoring during ambulation, in safety and without needing to stay in bed, while always monitoring the wellbeing of the baby.
All pharmacological and non-pharmacological measures are at the mother’s disposal in order to control the pain, together with the option taken by the expectant parents: walking epidural, shower, massage, Swiss ball, peanut ball, Livopan mask, among others.

The delivery rooms are equipped with a state-of-the-art AVE bed that can be adjusted to various positions during delivery, in accordance with the comfort and preference of the mother.
An obstetrician, midwife and paediatrician are always present during delivery. Early or late cutting of the umbilical cord is a special moment for the father, if he has been asked to do so, and early bonding is encouraged from the beginning. Otherwise, he will he will have skin-to-skin contact after the routine care, such as weighing.
These innovative conditions at the human, technical, organic and functional levels, together with a cohesive team, trained and constantly updated with courses simulating emergency obstetrics, plus weekly clinical meetings, make the Maternity of the Hospital Particular de Gambelas an irrefutable reference. 
The consultation of Obstetric Nursing is structured and fully operational. Besides an individual approach to each pregnancy according to the phase, with teaching adjusted to the gestational age, consultations for diabetes, hypertension and prenatal diagnostics are implemented. Ours is the only obstetric nursing consultation that offers clarification sessions about prenatal screening, as well as the realisation of the Foetal Biophysical Profile by specialist nurses; this has contributed greatly towards the high level of satisfaction of our patients.
This entire medical supervision of the pregnant woman and her family is completed with the availability of a permanent telephone line: The 24-Hour Pregnancy Hotline.