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Protecting human rights in childbirth

Wrong to say birth partners and parents of sick babies must always self isolate say lawyers

Birthrights has today published legal advice, which states that requiring a partner or new parent to self-isolate may be unlawful in certain circumstances. We have written to NHS England & Improvement, asking them to correct the paragraphs in their visiting guidance for maternity services which suggest that partners or new parents should always be asked … Read more

New inquiry to drive action on racial injustice in maternity care

We are convening a national inquiry into racial injustice in maternity care, throughout 2021, with support from law firm Leigh Day. The inquiry will be led by an expert panel made up of Black and Brown people with lived experience, midwives and obstetricians, healthcare and human rights lawyers, and other experts across academia, anti-racism, health policy and participation. … Read more

Keeping in touch

Women have told us that how Trusts communicate with them about changes to maternity services can be as important as the changes themselves. In this guest blog, Sally Talbot shares what the maternity team at South Warwickshire Foundation Trust have done to communicate effectively with both women/birthing people and staff during the pandemic…. We are … Read more

12 highlights of 2020

Reflections from our Chief Executive, Amy Gibbs. Each December, we reflect as a team on our achievements. 2020 has posed more challenges than any of us could have imagined – personally, professionally and for human rights in childbirth. Having only come back from maternity leave in October, I’m in total awe of the team for … Read more

Birthrights response to the Ockenden report

Much proverbial ink has been spent this week responding to the first report from the Ockenden review into maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust. Finding something new to say to another heartbreaking report into maternity services is challenging and yet the depth and scale of the harm done to families demands a response. … Read more

Birthrights calls for easing of visiting restrictions in maternity services

Birthrights has today written to NHS England and NHS Improvement calling for national guidance on easing visiting restrictions in maternity services in England, to recognise the unique needs of pregnant women/birthing people and their partners. Some Trusts still have the same visiting restrictions that were put in place at the height of the pandemic. Birthrights … Read more

Home birth contracts

The BBC reported this week that NHS Lothian was reinstating its home birth service but would require individuals to sign contracts promising a series of safeguards for midwives. Earlier in the week there were reports of other Trusts in England using contracts to spell out the risks (the benefits were sadly omitted) of home birth. … Read more