‘Freedom for Birth is a new 60 minute campaigning film that re-frames Human Rights as the most pressing issue in childbirth today.
In many countries around the world, women are being denied the most basic human right of autonomy over their own bodies. They cannot choose how and where to give birth. Those that persist in their desire to have a normal, physiological birth are sometimes forced by judges to surrender to surgery or threatened with having their babies taken away by child welfare services.
In many countries, if a woman wants to have a home birth supported by a midwife, those midwives face criminal prosecution. Some midwives, like Ágnes Geréb in Hungary, are even imprisoned. Freedom for Birth calls for radical reform to the world’s maternity systems so that these Human Rights violations stop and women are afforded real choice as to how and where they give birth’
I was fortunate to attend a screening organised by Valerie Gommon today at The Bee House. I’m really passionate about women birthing the way that they want to and work with women frequently to help them achieve this.
However, watching the freedom for birth really made me realise that there is so much more that we need to do to make sure decisions are not taken out of our hands. Even though we are very fortunate in this country, the system still fails to support many pregnant women. A woman cannot be guaranteed a home birth, if there is no midwife available then she will have to go into hospital. The care a woman receives when she is labour in hospital could be from a number of midwifes, possibly midwives that she has never met and do not know her well. And the aftercare once she returns home is reducing as phone calls are starting to replace some of the visits into the home.
It was really important to be to go along and support this event and it left me, at points in tears. The film is extremely moving and some of the content is astonishing, but it really made me feel motivated to help in whatever way I can.
If you too are interested in helping, have a look at The Birth I Want. There is loads of information and advice on how we can all help to make sure women have the choice to the birth they want.