Birth Rights – What are Mine??
I summarise here, your key birth rights right here. There are more and you can find them in the book ‘Am I allowed?’ book by Beverley Ann Lawrence Beech. If you are aware of these basic but hugely important rights, you have a good foundation for a sovereign and consensual birth and thus avoiding trauma and post natal depression.
• YOU CAN REFUSE A TREATMENT AND IT MUST BE RESPECTED
‘If you refuse a treatment, your decision must be respected, even if it is thought that refusing treatment would result in your death or the death of your unborn child.’ (NHS 2017)
Midwives are expected to ‘respect, support and document a person’s right to accept or refuse care and treatment (Nursing and midwifery Council 2015)
• YOU HAVE RIGHTS ON ‘HOW’ A CESAREAN BIRTH UNFOLDS
‘You have the right to choose the date of the surgery, the type of anaesthetic, allowing you to be awake when your baby is born, who will be with you for the birth, whether or not a screen is used, what music is played, whose voice your baby hears first, having immediate skin to skin contact, having support for early breastfeeding, having your baby wrapped in your own soft towels, delayed cord clamping, keeping or not your placenta.’
• FREE BIRTH: A WOMAN CANNOT BE PERSECUTED FOR BIRTHING HER OWN BABY
‘If anyone tells you there is, they are lying, misinformed or ignorant. If you have chosen to free birth, or have had an abandoned birth, have been threatened with social services, you can take the name of the midwife or health visitor and Pin number and report them to the Nursing and Midwife Council or the General Medical Council’
• YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHERE YOU HAVE YOUR BABY
‘Where you have your baby is your choice, and you should always be supported in the choice’ (NICE 2017) ‘The right of a woman to choose where to give birth is enshrined in English, Welsh and Scottish and Northern Irish and European law’
• HOME BIRTH: YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO IT
‘If a woman wants to birth at home, even if a service is stretched or her pregnancy is complex, the provider needs to put in place the appropriate support for this.’ (NHS 2017)
• YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO ACCEPT OR DECLINE AN ULTRASOUND EXAMINATION
‘While an ultrasound examination might provide useful information for individual women and babies;
-its safety for unborn babies remains neither proven or disproven.
-the information gained may make no difference to the course of your pregnancy outcome;’
– it may be suggested for research purposes, but unnecessary for your care; -it may not be accurate;
-it may cause on-going anxiety.’
• YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECLINE A MEMBRANE SWEEP
‘Membrane sweeping may be effective in achieving a spontaneous onset of labour, but the evidence for this was of low certainty. When compared to expectant management, it potentially reduces the incidence of formal induction of labour’
• YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY YOU WISH TO TAKE TIME WITH YOUR DECISION IF AN INDUCTION IS SUGGESTED
‘The procedure, whilst helpful in certain circumstances, is not benign and ‘all induced women will be exposed to potential disadvantages.’ (Seijmonsbergen – Schermers et al 2019)
• YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECLINE HAVING YOUR WATERS BROKEN
‘Some women. Might be told that the midwife has to break the waters because the labour is not progressing or because it will help speed up the labour. There is little evidence to support this and introducing an instrument into your vagina can increase the risk of infection, but some women may get relief, and find that their labour does progress.’
• YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECLINE CONTINUOUS FETAL MONITORING (CTG)
‘You have the right to decline any offer to have an admission CTG trace and you can ask for the baby’s heartbeat to e listened to intermittently with a Pinard stethoscope or a hand-held doppler monitor.
• YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ACCEPT OR DECLINE A VAGINAL EXAMINATION
‘There are alternative methods of determining the progress of the labour, which skilled midwives know about and use. One example that can be used along with other signs of progress is: the presence of a purple line during labour.’
• YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO EAT AND DRINK AS YOU WISH THROUGHOUT LABOUR
‘There is no justification for the restriction of fluids and food in labour for women with low risk of complications. (Singata et al 2013.)
• YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ACCEPT INTERVENTION
‘If there are time limits in place where you are giving birth and you are told that you are not progressing, you do not have to accept interventions. You can ask whether or not there is a problem with you or your baby, then consider how your feel.’
• IT IS YOUR RIGHT TO ACCEPT OR DECLINE AN EPIDURAL
‘As with all pain relief, it is your right to accept or decline the offer of an epidural, but accepting and epidural may mean that other interventions, for example vaginal examination, become more necessary, to ensure that the baby is not just about to be born.’
• YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE WHEN THE CORD IS CLAMPED
‘The umbilical cord provides your baby with essential nutrients, blood, oxygen, antibodies and stem cells, and continues to do so after your baby has been born, providing the cord is not clamped until it stops pulsating – to clamp early deprives your baby of these essential benefits. (Burleigh 2012, Edwards and Wickham 2018). You have the right to inform the midwife or doctor that the cord should not be clamped until you decide otherwise.’
• YOUR PLACENTA OR AFTERBIRTH IS YOUR PROPERTY
‘You have the right to take the placenta home if you wish. Your placenta belongs to you.’
• YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO INSIST ON SKIN TO SKIN IF YOUR BABY HAS LOW BIRTH WEIGHT OR DIFFICULTY REGULATING Its TEMPERATURE
‘Many benefits have been found for skin-to-skin contact: for example, the growth of low birth-weight babies is improved. Research shows that babies regulate their temperature better when they are placed next to their mother’s skin or between her breasts rather than an incubator.’
• YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ACCOMPANY YOUR BABY IN NEONATAL CARE
‘The father or your birth partner has a right to accompany him/her if you are unable to do so that you can then be informed of what has happened. You can talk and sing to your baby during neonatal care’
• YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE WHAT IS FED TO YOUR BABY AND WHEN
‘No health practitioner has the right to give your baby any food or liquid without your consent and UNICEF warns about the effects. This is an assault, and you have the right to make a complaint about the health practitioners failure to consult you before feeding your baby.’
• YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ACCEPT OF DECLINE ANY TESTS ON YOUR BABY
‘Your consent is required before any test is carried out, and you have the right to accept or decline. Research has shown that babies tolerate blood tests and injections for better if they are held in their mother’s arms and breastfed while this is undertaken (Harrison et al 2020)’
- While many of these will not apply to you, going in to any birth room knowing what you can say ‘No’ to is your route to an empowered birth. Standing side by side with you sister.
Want to Learn More?
Well you can and because you have shown up as you are, you can have 10% the Mini Course and Maxi Course but check out my offers to you below!
Birth Preparation Mini Course £39 (usually £44)
This course is designed to get you on your way to feeling and being prepared for the arrival of your baby. It is a gentle introduction to labour and birth and will create a foundation to build from.
Here’s a snap shot of what’s in the Mini course:
- An extensive birth pack with lots of birth topics for further reading on each topic
- A comprehensive list of your key birth rights so that you can ensure you maintain body sovereignty and bestow true empowerment in the birth space
- A beautiful birth affirmations MP3 recording to listen to during pregnancy to align your mind for a blissful and empowered birth journey
- A list of resources including; suggested books, documentaries, podcasts and Instagram accounts to peruse so that you can receive information in the way that suits you and gain maximum knowledge
- A guide on post partum (first 40 days post birth) and how to set up success for your first 6 weeks of Motherhood
- My top 5 post partum recipes so that you can batch cook or instruct your partner to cook up a storm to nourish you fully post birth.
Following the Mini course, you will have a greater sense of knowledge and empowerment.
Once you have taken this course, if you feel called, the Maxi course goes even deeper and get into the nitty gritty of each stage of Labour and delves further into all areas.
Birth Preparation Maxi Course £269 (Usually £299)
This is an all you need to know course on each stage of labour and birth so that you can feel prepared for birth. A stone is not left unturned ! Plus you get 1 on 1 time with me, your remote Doula and walk away with a completed birth plan. This course is a culmination of all my years training in various modalities along with personal experience of having two children myself.
Here’s what is included in the Maxi Course:
2 x 60 minute Zoom calls with me, your remote Doula at the beginning and end of the course to connect and get a full run down of where you are and what you need ahead of birthing your baby in the World
Extensive all you need-to-know on each stage of labour: Early Labour, Established Labour, Birth, 3rd stage and post-partum (first 40 days)
Mindful tools such as birth meditations, breathing exercises for each stage so that you have go to tools to use during each part of your journey
Considerations that you might need to take during each stage to ensure an empowered birth
We will co-create your birth plan during the 2 zoom calls (3 versions) so all eventualities of birth are covered on your terms so that you can have an empowered birth
- All of my post partum recipes
- Healing practices so you can easy your mind and body post birth
Full knowledge on each step, rich in confidence so that you can make consensual decisions in the birth room while maintaining body sovereignty and a sense of birth empowerment
You will walk away with a birth plan (3 versions)
- You will feel prepared for birth by the end of the course.
Why take these Courses?
- Do you want to feel ready for birth? Yes? Then these courses will get you there
- An empowered birth gives you the best chance to avoid birth trauma and thus post-natal depression
- You want help to do a birth plan and feel confident with it
- You want an empowered birth so you can sink into the depth of your feminine wisdom and strength
- You want to feel like someone is holding your hand through pregnancy
- You want a 1-stop place for simple but effective birth tools such as birth meditations, birth affirmations, breathing exercises and extensive birth resources
- You don’t want a load of boring videos to watch – mine are short and sweet!
- You can’t afford a doula but you’ll have access to me as your remote doula
- You find the information out there overwhelming – this course gives you a condensed and comprehensive 1-stop place to cover the key areas in the birth process
- You want to set yourself up for a positive birth experience
- You want a seamless transition from Maidenhood to Motherhood
- You want to give your baby the best opportunity to birth naturally into the World
- You want to give yourself the best start to Motherhood.
Maxi Course Add on £88 (Usually £99)
If 2 x Zoom calls with me isn’t enough, then you can book me as your remote doula and have What’s app access to me up until your due date.
During our ‘remote’ time together you can sound out any other things that crop up emotionally and physically during your pregnancy and feel like you have your hand held every step.
Remote Doula care by me, until due date, post course: £99
Course Combo Offer £299
Mini/Maxi Course Combo £299 (usually £399)
Full Course Package £399
Or get the whole package – Mini/Maxi/Remote Care Combo £399 (RRP £442, a saving of £43)