Protecting human rights in childbirth

Registered Charity Number 1151152


Knowing your rights and the law in pregnancy and childbirth is important. Our factsheets provide you with the latest information on your rights, where they come from in law, and how they are backed up in guidance. In 2020 our factsheets were accessed over 100,000 times (combined).

In August 2021, in collaboration with representatives from across the birth world, we published new and updated factsheets to provide the latest detailed information about your rights and the law in pregnancy and childbirth. Our representatives include individuals with expertise and lived experience in autistic birth, racial and LGBTQ+ inclusion in birth, doulaing, experience of disadvantage and the criminal justice system during pregnancy, expertise regarding the cross-over with charging for NHS treatment and the work of social services, and disabled women’s experience. We are grateful to our copywriter Sarah Butler at Looseleaf Productions, the Hollick Family Foundation, the Baring Foundation and the National Lottery Community Fund for making this vital project possible.

If there’s an area we’ve missed that you would like to see covered, please get in touch.

Each link below goes to a new page where you can read the information or download a printable PDF document.

We do not deal with maternity-related employment or benefits issues. Maternity Action provide comprehensive information on your rights at work, access to benefits, breast-feeding and chest-feeding rights.

Birthrights is a UK-based organisation and our factsheets cover the law in the UK, except where stated. They were last updated in August 2021 (written in May 2021).

Read our legal statement and copyright for terms and conditions of use of these factsheets.

Do you work with pregnant women and birthing people?

Our training equips doctors, midwives and other birth workers with knowledge of the law and human rights principles, an understanding of how to apply it in practice, and the ability to communicate effectively with women and birthing people in a way that upholds their human rights. We offer a 10% discount to multidisciplinary teams.