Protecting human rights in childbirth

How should Health Care Professionals handle a maternal request for caesarean?

It‘s been unusually noisy in the maternity world over the summer, as media reports have reignited discussion about what a “safe” birth looks like. At Birthrights we believe that the need to listen to women is the mast that all those who care about the safety of women and babies during birth, can cling to when the seas of … Read more

Do I have a right to a c-section? Update on Oxford University Hospitals

On 24th May we launched a campaign to engage with Trusts who state that they do not offer maternal request caesarean sections, thereby denying women the individual respect and consideration they are entitled to. The first Trust we wrote to was Oxford University Hospitals whose policy on offering planned caesarean sections is stated in this … Read more

Rapid Resolution and Redress scheme – consultation now open

A Rapid Resolution and Redress scheme was one of the key recommendations coming out of the Better Births report. This month the Department of Health has launched a consultation on this proposal. Currently families whose children have suffered severe injury due to negligent maternity care have to wait an average of 11.5 agonising years to … Read more

Dubska v Czech Republic: A blow to women's reproductive rights in Europe

The European Court of Human Rights gave judgment in Dubská v Czech Republic last week. The Court found that Czech legislation prohibiting midwives attendance at home births did not interfere with women’s right to private life under Article 8 of the European Convention. The decision came as a surprise to maternity professionals and campaigners across … Read more

'Captured womb': feminism, childbirth and motherhood

Deborah Talbot explores the relationship between birthing experiences and the transition to motherhood. Ann Oakley wrote in her seminal work on childbirth and motherhood, Women Confined, that ‘the medicalisation of childbirth has changed the subjective experience of reproduction altogether, making dependence on others instead of dependence on self a condition of the achievement of motherhood’ … Read more