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Protecting human rights in childbirth

Registered Charity Number 1151152

Survey finds only one in four felt the information they received prepared them for induction

A survey of more than 2,000 women in the UK has found many lacked enough information to make an informed decision about induction of labour. In August 2021, the Patient Information Forum conducted an online survey into women’s experiences of being induced in collaboration with maternity charities including Birthrights. In less than a fortnight, 2,325 … Read more

Birthrights and GMC – what does informed consent mean in maternity care?

Informed Consent Human rights law requires every individual to be treated with dignity and respect and for their autonomy to be upheld. These principles are at the heart of guidance given to doctors by their regulator the General Medical Council (‘GMC’). We’ve worked with the GMC to explore what women and birthing people can expect … Read more

Birthrights welcomes release of MBRRACE report following legal action

We are pleased that the MBRRACE-UK report: Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care has finally been published today. The findings – yet again exposing serious racial inequalities in maternal deaths – are a stark reminder of the urgent need to share the lessons learned from these tragedies, to improve care and save lives. On 26 November, … Read more

Update: Birthrights and Leigh Day legal challenge calling for urgent release of the MBRRACE report

Last week, Birthrights challenged NHS England’s decision not to publish the annual maternity care MBRRACE report until after the election. We received a response from NHS England’s lawyers stating they would reply substantively to our concerns within 14 days (by 10 December) and intend to publish the report on 13 December. Our solicitors, Leigh Day, … Read more

Birthrights challenges government’s decision not to publish maternity care report

Birthrights are challenging NHS England’s decision not to publish a report on maternity care, known as the MBRRACE report, until after the election.  Birthrights, a charity that promotes human rights in maternity care, argues that the MBRRACE report ‘Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care’ should be published before the election as it is an impartial and … Read more

Autism Awareness Day: guest blog by Hayley

Birthrights research in 2013 and 2018 found disabled women reported poorer experiences of childbirth than other respondents. They told us they: received inadequate information about their choices more often than other women; were unhappier with the availability of pain relief;  felt they had less choice and control over their birth experiences; felt that their rights were poorly … Read more

Autism Awareness Day: guest blog by Emma

Birthrights research in 2013 and 2018 found disabled women reported poorer experiences of childbirth than other respondents. They told us they: received inadequate information about their choices more often than other women; were unhappier with the availability of pain relief;  felt they had less choice and control over their birth experiences; felt that their rights were poorly … Read more

Birthrights responds to the CQC's national maternity survey

Commenting on the findings of the CQC’s national maternity survey, Amy Gibbs, Chief Executive of Birthrights, said: “It’s positive that overall 88% of women surveyed felt they were ‘always’ treated with respect and dignity during labour and birth, but other findings highlight areas where maternity care is failing to respect women’s basic rights. “Every woman … Read more

Reflections on 2018

Four weeks into being Birthrights’ new Chief Executive, I’m feeling very lucky to lead such a brilliant organisation and brimming with positivity and ideas for 2019. I’m blessed with a very talented team, engaged and expert Trustees, supportive funders, invaluable partners and a wider enthusiastic pool of people who share our mission to improve women’s … Read more

New research: Disabled women need to be heard and respected as experts about their bodies

Research published today and commissioned by Birthrights shows that disabled women are generally not receiving the individualised care and support they that they need to make choices about their maternity care. Today’s publication includes and builds on the survey research published in 2016 which found that more than a quarter of disabled women asked felt … Read more