On 1 April, 'BB S:t Göran', the maternity ward at Capio S:t Göran Hospital, will open its doors. Midwives offer a special welcome to women of foreign origin.
At BB S:t Göran, foreign-born women giving birth will have access to a cultural doula in their own language. This support is available in 23 different languages and is funded by the Stockholm region.
Swedish and international research shows that women born abroad are at a higher risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, which can affect both mother and child. Not knowing the Swedish language, being new to the country and sometimes even having had negative experiences with care in the past, can also affect the pregnant woman's ability to receive good and safe care.
Actively support the woman giving birth
"In general, the woman giving birth already has contact with her doula. But our staff also have the possibility to call in a doula in an emergency during childbirth if we see a need for support and if the woman wants it," says Hanne Fjellvang, head of the care unit at BB S:t Göran.
"Many of us know and have worked with cultural doulas in other maternity units in the Stockholm area. We work closely together, which makes it easy to establish good contact and cooperation," says Marielle Rotzius, Development Manager at BB S:t Göran.
She emphasises that it is a great comfort for the woman giving birth, not only the language, but also the fact that the doulas bridge the cultural differences that may exist.
Support even after the birth
The doula stays with the family throughout the birth to help the woman feel safe and to strengthen the family's cooperation with the health care personnel. The doctor also meets the family a few times after the baby is born.
The project "Doula & cultural interpreter" started in Stockholm in 2017 as a model of support for non-Swedish speaking pregnant women/families - with the aim of promoting safe and equal care.
The initiative is financed by the Stockholm Regional Health Administration on the basis of the national investment in maternity care.