White Ribbon Alliance
White Ribbon Alliance advocates globally for all women’s rights to safe and dignified maternity care – yet these rights are not always respected in the UK, especially when it comes to migrant and undocumented women who are pregnant and giving birth.
White Ribbon Alliance in the UK
White Ribbon Alliance is now advocating for the rights of pregnant migrant and refugee women and mothers in the UK. This group has double the risk of stillbirth, typically attends late for ante-natal care and – for reasons of language and culture – has a relatively low level of health literacy. Women in this group have often experienced significant trauma, may have escaped conflict, trafficking and/or forced marriage, and finding themselves isolated and unsupported in a strange land, also suffer significant levels of depression. Meanwhile, government policies on charging women who are not or not yet citizens for their maternity care is causing fear amongst women and alarm amongst midwives who remain confused about the role they are expected to play in reporting these women and concerned about the welfare and rights of their clients. Repeated dispersal of pregnant women and new mothers is adding significantly to their distress.
WRA has made the powerful film, ‘Birth with Sanctuary’, together with City of Sanctuary. It is a moving testimony to the challenges faced by pregnant migrant women and their midwives today in the UK, and a practical outline of the solutions. It is being widely shared and there is much demand for more such materials:
We are a Sheffield based charity. We support and promote health and well-being for Sheffield families during pregnancy, birth and the first years. Our infographics and posters educate families and the community on key maternity areas and services, with words of advice from parents to parents. We strive for advancement of maternity health and well being for the whole family, covering pre-conception, pregnancy, birth and the first years
As a grieving family we decided we wanted to do something to help make a devastating experience a little more bearable by letting families know they are not alone. We do this by providing hospitals, hospices and funeral directors across the U.K with memory boxes, for families who suffer the trauma of miscarriage, stillbirth, infant and child death up to the age of 18.
4Louis have progressed over the years and have now provided over 160 Cuddle cot units to allow the families to spend extra precious time with their little ones. We have helped and funded many bereavement suites with in hospital maternity and neonatal units as well as providing funding for study days.
The Positive Birth Movement
The Positive Birth Movement is a global network of free to attend antenatal discussion groups, where women learn from and support other women. There are over 250 groups in the UK and over 200 more beyond. To find your nearest visit http://www.positivebirthmovement.org
The Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS) is a charity that has been campaigning since 1960 for human rights in maternity care and improvements in the way in which women are cared for when having a baby. The women who first started AIMS wanted better births for themselves and for other women – a new generation of AIMS members continue to work for these improvements.
AIMS campaigns today for:
* Births attended by a midwife known and trusted by the mother
* More free-standing midwifery units and community based care
* Births without unnecessary and unwanted interventions
* Excellent medical care when needed
* For women and their views to be treated with respect and empathy
* Protecting women’s human rights in childbirth.
AIMS produces a series of publications and a quarterly Journal, which contains information about obstetric and midwifery practices, research, and accounts of individual experiences.
AIMS also publishes a variety of books about childbirth issues, for example: Birth After Caesarean; Induction – Do I really need it?; Am I Allowed? ; Breech Birth; Group B Strep.
Details of AIMS’ publications can be found on the AIMS web site: http://www.aims.org.uk
Birthrights is dedicated to improving women’s experience of pregnancy and childbirth by promoting respect for human rights. We believe that all women are entitled to respectful maternity care that protects their fundamental rights to dignity, autonomy, privacy and equality. We offer an email advice service to individual women and healthcare professionals in England and Wales. We run training for healthcare professionals, carry out research, and campaign for human rights centred maternity care. Birthrights relies on donations to carry out its work. If you would like to support us or to find out more about our work please visit http://www.birthrights.org.uk
Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVP) & Maternity Services Liaison Committees (MSLC)
Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs) are an innovative development based on an updating of Maternity Services Liaison Committees (MSLCs)*. They are independent, formal, multidisciplinary committees bringing together those who commission local maternity services with those who provide them and crucially, those who use them. They are chaired by a service user and their aim is to monitor, co-design and plan maternity services both in their local community and at a wider Local Maternity System (LMS) level.
For more information see National Maternity Voices, which provides networking, advice and mentoring for chairs and service user members, at nationalmaternityvoices.org.uk.
*NB: Most former MSLCs are transitioning to become MVPs in England. They will remain known as MSLCs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Pinter and Martin
Pregnancy Sickness Support