“Women have the right to make informed choices. They have the right to give and decline and withdraw consent at any point. Midwives and doctors should be able to support those rights without fear of persecution” – Jo Hunter
Story by Karen McClay
For me, this was one of the most powerful massages to come out of the Birth Time documentary (@birthtimeworld). Women have the right to be provided non-bias, evidence-based information to make informed decisions about their pregnancy and their birth. They have choices and should be able to, in fact they should be encouraged to make the choices and decisions that feel right for them with the support of their caregivers. This includes being able to choose the right caregiver for them and the type of birth they are wanting but to also feel confident.
Coercive care is far to rife in our system and I believe this does not protect women rather it is aimed at protecting those caring for women. As a result, we have a system based on fear rather than support and trust.
Women need to know that they have choice and that opening the lines of communication with their caregivers early is important. They need to get educated and be armed with the knowledge and confidence to ask questions all throughout their pregnancy and to question the answers if they don’t feel right. They need to be empowered and encouraged to make their own mind up about what they feel is best for them and their baby and feel supported with these decisions. This is why I do what I do because high quality antenatal education like @calmbirth for both the birthing woman and her partner is imperative to feeding their confidence and empowerment so they can find their voice and ultimately create the best birth for them and their baby.