- Every woman has the right to health care before, during, and after pregnancy.
- The right to receive care that is consistent with current scientific evidence about benefits and risks. If the practice is harmful or ineffective then it should be avoided.
- The right to choose a midwife or doctor as her care provider.
- The right to choose her birth setting from her safe options available.
- The right to leave her maternity care giver if she becomes dissatisfied.
- The right to know the qualifications of those involved in her care, as well as to know when those involved are trainees.
- The right to receive care in privacy and to have all information treated according to the standards of confidentiality.
- The right to full and clear information about risks, benefits, and costs of any and all procedures (drugs, tests, and treatments.)
- The right to accept or refuse any treatment, drugs, or tests. She also has the right to change her mind at any time. (This one is usually only true as long as the mother or baby is not in a life or death situation.)
- The right to be informed if she or her infant is enrolled in a research study and the right to accept or deny participating.
- The right to access any and all of her pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, and infant records.
- The right to receive care that is appropriate for her culture and religious beliefs, as well as to receive information in a language she can understand.
- The right to have any family members and friends she chooses to be present in any of her maternity care.
- The right for information on risks and benefits of any and all available methods of pain relief. She ahs the right to refuse or accept any and change her mind at any time.
- The right of freedom of movement during labor and the right to deliver in any position she desires.
- The right to uninterrupted time with her newborn, so long as both she and the baby are healthy and do not need to be separated for care.
- The right to have information on breastfeeding, to refuse any supplements or actions that could interfere with breastfeeding, as well as have access to lactation support.
- The right to decide with the caregiver when she and the baby can go home.
*This is a guest post. Thoughts and opinions do not necessarily reflect our own.
About the author of this guest post: Brittany lives in Seattle with her husband and three children (a 6 year old, a 5 year old, and a 2 year old). She enjoys researching everything that involves living naturally and writes about her increasingly crunchy life at The Pistachio Project.