Women in childbirth still being denied their human rights

June 19, 2013, University of Warwick
Women in childbirth still being denied their human rights

New research shows despite more than 50 years of campaigning, too many mothers are still being denied their human rights in childbirth.

In 'Choice, Policy and Practice in Maternity Care since 1948', a new History & Policy paper by Dr Angela Davis, Department of History at the University of Warwick, claims women's choices about how and where they give birth are still being widely ignored by healthcare providers.

Dr Davis carried out 160 interviews with women of all ages and from all backgrounds to explore their experiences of and motherhood. She also looked at current data and literature on maternity care.

She said: "Women are primarily critical of a lack of information, lack of choice in their care and dissatisfaction with their caregivers, rather than the procedures themselves. For decades there has been a struggle between those arguing for maternity services to prioritise mothers' wishes, and those who believe that a healthy baby is the only way to measure a successful outcome."

Dr Davis added that home births have declined and medical intervention in pregnancy and childbirth significantly increased. NHS budgetary pressures had also now added an economic dimension to the issue, with debates over how to deliver choice and safety as cheaply as possible.

She said: "It seems that not much has changed, in January this year a new group called Birthrights launched to promote in pregnancy and childbirth.

" remains a contested policy area. While chiefly framed as a debate about reconciling women's choice over how and where to give birth on the one hand, with the fate of their babies on the other, this more often comes down to cost and control. Women's choice is characterised as an expensive, and possibly dangerous, luxury."

Dr Davis has also written an opinion piece called ' "Something should be done": campaigns for choice and human rights in childbirth'

Explore further: Does mum have the final say? New study reveals confusion in maternity care

More information: www.historyandpolicy.org/paper … olicy-paper-146.html

Related Stories

Does mum have the final say? New study reveals confusion in maternity care

May 2, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—A study from The University of Queensland has highlighted the tension doctors and midwives experience when supporting women's right to decide what happens to them and their babies.

Cultural understanding can support a feeling of security for Greenlandic families

May 13, 2013
Greenlandic families expecting a baby, often feel safest when care supports cultural elements such as being near to family, home environment and local traditions. Culturally sensitive maternity care, lessens the risk of non-compliance ...

Overweight, obese mothers treated differently by health professionals, study finds

February 20, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Queensland mums-to-be who are considered to be overweight or obese are treated and perceived more poorly by maternity care providers because of their body weight, according to a new University of Queensland ...

Migrant women less likely to have unassisted birth, study finds

May 6, 2013
Some groups of migrant women in Australia are at a higher risk of medical interventions in childbirth that may lead to health problems for the mother or child, a new study has found.

Improved care needed for mothers from ethnic minority groups

April 29, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Women in some disadvantaged communities are missing out on support that could potentially reduce high rates of infant mortality, according to an exploratory study at the University of Leeds.

Recommended for you

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.