Forthcoming EVENTS 

Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford – 19th January 2019

Rebecca Schiller, former Birthrights CEO will be speaking to student midwives at their midwifery society conference on 19th January 2019.

East of England Advanced Labour Ward Practice Course, Huntingdon – 1st March 2019

Our new CEO, Amy Gibbs, will be speaking at this event.

RCOG Managing the Labour Ward Course – 14th-17th May 2019

Birthrights are delighted to be speaking at this event.

previous EVENTS

Conference on Philosophy of Pregnancy, Birth & Early Motherhood, University of Southampton – 21 and 22 June 2018

Birthrights CEO, Rebecca Schiller, spoke at this event.

Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society – 7th November 2018

Birthrights CEO, Rebecca Schiller, spoke at this event.

Dignity in Childbirth workshop, Bristol – 24th January 2018

Birthrights led this two hour workshop offering an introduction to human rights principles and why they matter in childbirth. It examined maternity practices that violate human rights and considered what a human rights centred maternity service looks like.

With thanks to The University of the West of England for providing the venue and to The Baring Foundation for enabling ticket prices to be kept to a minimum.

Sprogcast Live: Leeds – 28th October 2017

Sprogcast is a monthly podcast about pregnancy, birth and early parenthood, hosted by Karen Hall and Mark Harris. Rineke Schram, Birthrights Trustee, spoke at this event.

Women’s Voices Conference – 14th October 2017

This Women’s Voice Conference provides a platform for women to share their maternity experiences in a safe environment to an audience of individuals interested in improving women’s maternity services. Elizabeth Prochaska, Chair of Birthrights board of trustees, spoke at this event.

Transforming Consent in Maternity Care Seminar – 11th October 2017 

Following the landmark UK Supreme Court decision in the Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board (2015) case, this seminar brought together a small group of leaders in law and healthcare  to proactively shape the implementation of Montgomery v Lanarkshire in the UK. During the seminar we shared understanding and ideas to build a comprehensive picture of the changes that are taking place to develop a maternity culture that enables lawful consent. You can read more about the discussions and recommendation here.

Policing Pregnancy – 18th May 2017

The second Policing Pregnancy conference was held on the 18 May at Canterbury Christchurch University and is a collaboration between Birthrights, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies (CPCS), and Engaging Sociology at CCCU.

Childbirth and the Court of Protection – 8th March 2017

A seminar taking a critical look at recent forced caesarean decisions in the Court of Protection.

Birthrights bookclubs – October 2016

Rebecca Schiller’s new book Why Human Rights in Childbirth Matter will be published by Pinter and Martin in September. Could you support Birthrights by hosting a #newchapter bookclub around 17th-22nd October?

Dignity in Childbirth workshops – Autumn 2016

In collaboration with The Baring Foundation, Birthrights is pleased to be able to offer three, free to attend, Dignity in Childbirth workshops later this year.

The workshops will give an introduction to human rights in maternity care, setting out the key principles and the legal framework that gives them power. Through case studies discover what healthcare professionals need to do to meet their obligations under human rights law and how human rights can provide a lever for positive change. We welcome healthcare professionals and anyone else with an interest in this area to these events.

Places are limited and are on a first come first served basis. Please do let us know if you can no longer make it s we can offer tickets to those on the waiting list. Please click on the links below to Eventbrite to book.

 11th October – Coventry (limited places left)
2nd November – Nottingham
17th November – London (full)


13 April 2016, Royal College of Physicians, London: Policing Pregnancy Conference

Pregnant women are increasingly viewed as posing a risk to their foetus, with the womb often now seen as potentially harming rather than protecting what grows inside. Women’s behaviour in pregnancy, and “failure” to prepare their bodies adequately prior to conception, is blamed for long-term health outcomes of their foetus – even when the evidence for such is lacking.

Women’s choices – from what they consume in pregnancy to how they give birth – are seen as in need of monitoring, regulation and restriction. Speakers at this conference will explore how risk in pregnancy is defined and communicated to women, and examine the worrying implications for women’s autonomy and ability to make their own decisions about pregnancy and birth.

Sessions include:

  • Alcohol and the rise of the precautionary principle, exploring the development of the abstinence message and how evidence is deployed
  • Obesity and mother blaming, exploring the rise in concerns over “sumo” babies destined for a lifetime of poor health determined by their mothers’ wombs
  • Women’s rights in childbirth, exploring restrictions on women’s choices in childbirth and the implications when women feel they are denied control

Hosted by British Pregnancy Advisory Service, Birthrights and Centre For Parenting Culture Studies.



Fighting the Fear: Providing positive maternity care in a litigation culture

On 30 September 2014, we are hosting a day of supportive discussion and reflection about fear of litigation, its impact on maternity care and strategies for overcoming it. We will hear from leading lawyers and midwives in constructive sessions designed to improve understanding, confidence and assertiveness in those who support women during pregnancy and birth.

This is a low-cost event (£35 per ticket) aimed specifically at midwives and will be particularly useful to those working within the NHS. During the day we aim to inspire confidence in each delegate by:

– giving accurate information on how clinical negligence law can impact on midwifery
– discussing how fear around litigation can affect midwives, their practice and the women they care for
– providing positive discussion and strategies to combat the fear and confusion that our litigation culture can produce

We are delighted to be welcoming speakers including Hannah Dahlen, Sheena Byrom, Mary Nolan, Alison Brown and Janet Sayers. Fiona Timmins will also join us in the afternoon to offer assertiveness training, with strategies specifically developed for midwives, to the group. We will be seeking, and expect to receive, RCM accreditation for the event.

Programme available here.
Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite.


Birthing and motherhood seminars

Our birthing and motherhood seminar series, co-hosted with the Open University in January-June 2014, is now completed.

The seminars brought together academics, health professionals and campaigners to generate research agendas on the themes of the birthing experience, early motherhood, and the concept of dignity in childbirth. The discussions were diverse, spirited and fruitful. We are taking forward some of the ideas from the seminars in a research project. If you would like to be involved in Birthrights research, please get in touch.

You can listen to a recording of the first seminar here.