All women, including you, have rights during pregnancy, labor, and birth. Did you know that some of your rights include:...
All women, including you, have rights during pregnancy, labor, and birth. Doula Support = the best supportDid you know that some of your rights include:
  • The right to choose where you'd like to give birth; that may be at home, a hospital, in a tub full of water, or at a birthing center for instance.
  • The right to have whoever you choose at your labor and birth. You can have your children, partner, in-laws (or not), best friend, a doula; or anyone else.
  • The right to ask someone to leave: If a staff member at a birthing facility or even someone in your own home makes you uncomfortable, angry, or upset you do have the right to ask them to leave and that includes partners, doctors, and midwives.
  • The right to choose your own care provider.
  • The right to hold and breastfeed your baby immediately after the birth.
  • The right to say yes or no to medical interventions such as pain relief, epidural, fetal monitoring, IVs, and induced labor.
  • The right to say yes or no to natural support during labor such as massage or music.
  • The right to have support with you during a cesarean -- like your partner.
The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) is a group of individuals and organizations who are concerned about the well-being of mothers, babies, and families. Their goals include promoting a healthy and wellness model of care for women during pregnancy, labor, and birth. The CIMS model of maternity care covers some key points that are important for you if you're pregnant or planning a pregnancy:
  • "NORMALCY: treat birth as a natural, healthy process.
  • EMPOWERMENT: provide the birthing woman and her family supportive, sensitive and respectful care.
  • AUTONOMY: enable women to make decisions based on accurate information and provide access to the full range of options for care.
  • First DO NO HARM: avoid the routine use of tests, procedures, drugs, and restrictions.
  • RESPONSIBILITY: give evidence-based care used solely for the needs and in the interests of mothers and infants."
To learn more about your rights as a mama visit the CIMS website. Have a question about your rights? Ask in the comments, and I'll do my very best to find out the answer.

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