Women's memories of their childbearing experiences stay with them for a lifetime
Too often, pregnant women seeking maternity care receive ill treatment that ranges from relatively subtle disrespect of their autonomy and dignity to outright abuse: physical assault, verbal insults, discrimination, abandonment, or detention in facilities for failure to pay.
The White Ribbon Alliance is working to break the silence surrounding ill treatment of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum:
The White Ribbon Alliance envisions a world in which a woman’s right to Respectful Maternity Care is embedded at all levels of all maternal health systems around the globe and that these rights are reflected in a sense of entitlement among women.
WATCH THIS VIDEO! It gave me chills.
- You and your baby have the right to be treated with respect and dignity.
- You have the right to be involved in and fully informed about care for yourself and your baby.
- You have the right to be communicated with in a language and in terminology that you understand.
- You have the right to informed consent and to informed refusal for any treatment, procedure or other aspect of care for yourself and your baby.
- You and your baby have the right to receive care that enhances and optimizes the normal processes of pregnancy, birth and postpartum under a model known as the midwifery (or motherbaby) model of care.
- You and your baby have the right to receive continuous support during labor and birth from those you choose.
- You have the right to be offered drug-free comfort and pain-relief measures during labor and to have the benefits of these measures and the means of their use explained to you and to your companions.
- You and your baby have the right to receive care consisting of evidence-based practices proven to be beneficial in supporting the normal physiology of labor, birth and postpartum.
- You and your baby have the right to receive care that seeks to avoid potentially harmful procedures and practices.
- You have the right to receive education concerning a healthy environment and disease prevention.
- You have the right to receive education regarding responsible sexuality, family planning and women’s reproductive rights, as well as access to family planning options.
- You have the right to receive supportive prenatal, intrapartum, postpartum and newborn care that addresses your physical and emotional health within the context of family relationships and your community environment.
- You and your baby have the right to evidenced-based emergency treatment for life-threatening complications.
- You and your baby have the right to be cared for by a small number of caregivers who collaborate across disciplinary, cultural and institutional boundaries and who provide consultations and facilitate transfers of care when necessary to appropriate institutions and specialists.
- You have the right to be made aware of and to be shown how to access available community services for yourself and your baby.
- You and your baby have the right to be cared for by practitioners with knowledge of and the skills to support breastfeeding.
- You have the right to be educated concerning the benefits and the management of breastfeeding and to be shown how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if you and your baby must be separated for medical reasons.
- You and your baby have the right to initiate breastfeeding within the first 30 minutes after birth, to remain together skin-to-skin for at least the first hour, to stay together 24 hours a day and to breastfeed on demand.
- Your baby has the right to be given no artificial teats or pacifiers and to receive no food or drink other then breast milk, unless medically indicated.
- You have the right to be referred to a breastfeeding support group, if available, upon discharge from the birthing facility.