Maternal Request Caesarean Campaign
In the last few months we have written to every Trust in the UK and every CCG in the country to ask them about how they deal with maternal request caesareans. We are delighted with the response rate and look forward to sending you a Special Edition newsletter with a detailed focus on this issue very soon.
New Research: Disabled women need to be heard and respected as experts about their bodies
We commissioned research with Bournemouth University that showed disabled women are generally not receiving the individualised care and support they need to make choices about their maternity care.
25% of women felt they were treated less favourably because of their disability, and 56% felt that health care providers did not have appropriate attitudes to disability. Some found birth rooms, postnatal wards, or their notes and scans “completely inaccessible”.
The research highlights the need to treat disabled women – as all women – as individuals with their own specific needs. Disabled women are experts in their own conditions and what they mean for their bodies and choices in childbirth. Women described distressing scenarios of having to prove that their choices were suitable, undermining their dignity. In one very concerning case, a woman described not being given all the information she needed to make an informed decision about her care during labour, and being denied the choices she would have made as a result. Respecting women’s dignity means respecting and trusting women’s individual needs and knowledge.
The research was conducted by Jenny Hall, Jillian Ireland and Professor Vanora Hundley at Bournemouth University and Dr Bethan Collins, Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the University of Liverpool. You can view the full report here
Transforming Consent in Maternity Care
Following the landmark UK Supreme Court decision in the Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board (2015) case, we held a seminar last October (thanks to the generous support of the Sheila Kitzinger Programme at Green Templeton College) to proactively shape the implementation of Montgomery v Lanarkshire in the UK. The report from this seminar is available here
We identified three streams of work to be taken forward:
1) developing an intrapartum consent tool;
2) training for healthcare professionals in having sensitive "choice" conversations with women; and
3) resources for women to raise awareness of their right to make informed choices.
On the 18th April 2018 we were delighted to co-host a further workshop with NHS England to focus on developing an outline intrapartum consent tool. The draft tool developed as a result of that session is now going to be subject to further user testing with women and healthcare professionals - watch this space!
Would You Like to deliver Training for Birthrights?
Demand for Birthrights training continues to grow and is a vital part of how we address inequalities and change practice at the frontline.
If you're a healthcare or legal professional and would like to help us improve care then we're recruiting volunteer trainers.
You would receive full training and have your expenses reimbursed, and in return we ask you to commit to 2 or 3 days per year of training.
If you're interested in being a trainer for Birthrights or would like to find out more about the sort of training Birthrights can provide please email us here
Let's Make Birth Better
ake Birth Better Network is a new collaboration between parents, professionals and peers who are working to influence the maternity journey for everyone.
is a resource for parents, parents to be, professionals and wider services.
Here you will find information about birth trauma and read about enhancing your chances of a positive birth. There is a crowd-sourced map showing services where parents can get support after a difficult birth, as well as information about how to make a complaint. There is a platform for women to tell their birth stories and professionals and service can share experiences too. The website is a non-judgmental space where all views are held in equal regard- in this way they hope to provide their users with information to help them make truly informed decisions.