Last week one NHS Trust put out on social media that freebirthing was illegal. This is completely untrue. However it reminds us once again that there is still much more to be done to raise awareness both among women/birthing people, and amongst healthcare professionals about human rights and how they apply to maternity care.
From today and for the next two weeks, Birthrights and other organisations we have campaigned with during the pandemic (Pregnant then Screwed, AIMS, But not maternity, the Fatherhood Institute, Birth Trauma Association, and Make Birth Better), will be posting each day about rights women and birthing people have in maternity care.
Why does this matter? Birthrights and its partners are clear that this is not about pitting service users against healthcare professionals. However it is important that everyone involved in maternity care is aware of #BasicBirthRights and what #TheBottomLine is. We have seen first hand that there is nothing that destroys trust more quickly than finding out that what a healthcare professional has told you is untrue. Let’s all be clear about what the legal context in which maternity services operate and the red lines that can’t be crossed.