If you are a mom-to-be getting ready to give birth soon, make sure you know these three important rights that every birthing mother is entitled to. Moms who are going through labor and giving birth have:
1. The Right to be Respected - As a birthing mom, you deserve to be respected by the medical staff, including both the doctors and the midwives or nurses. This means that you deserve to to be talked to with respect AND you deserve for your birth preferences to be honored. For example, when you assert your preferences, the staff at the hospital do not have a right to talk down to you or shame you by telling you you are being a difficult “patient.” You can choose to spend labor any way you wish to, adopting any position and coping strategies to make you feel comfortable.
2. The Right to Decide who Touches Your Body - This especially applies to who touches and what enters your vagina. You have a right to give (or not give) consent. Let me tell you this story – One day, while I was getting my facial done, I was having small chat with my facial therapist. She told me her birth story as soon as she found out that I taught childbirth classes. It was the most horrifying story! She told me that during labor, because she was in a public teaching hospital, a group of intern doctors came in, took turns to do vaginal exams on her! What more, they were debating about their findings there and then. As vaginal exams are pure estimates, different people, depending on their experiences, will have different estimates. Whilst I understand that these doctors need to gain some practical experiences, every woman has the right to be asked permission, be informed about what they are doing and be aware that she has the right to refuse if she feels uncomfortable. The lady told me she didn’t know she could choose to refuse. I felt very sorry for her at the time. And I feel very sorry for the millions of sisters all around the world who may have been subjected to this without their consent.
3. The Right to Advocate for Your Baby - You and your baby have a right to remain together at all times. There is no need for mother-baby separation or for baby to be sent to the nursery unless there is a medical emergency. (Weighing, bathing and vaccinating the baby immediately after birth are not medical emergencies!). It is important to inform yourself about the benefits and importance of skin-to-skin bonding. Do not let anyone rob you of your precious time with your baby just to follow man made protocols. Nature has a bigger and better plan! The same applies to other baby related practices like delayed cord clamping, delayed bathing, continuous skin to skin, roomin in, immediate access to breastfeeding and more, which are all evidence based practices that benefit both mom and baby.
Stand up for your birth rights, mummy! You and your baby deserve it!
- Bee Ting Ng,
HypnoBirthing Mongan Method Trainer, Author, International Speaker💖