Charity of the Month
Birthrights is the leading authority on the rights of women and birthing people during pregnancy and birth in the UK and their work has never been more urgent. Birthrights’ work is critical to not only transforming the experiences and outcomes for individuals, but also in shifting wider policy, practice and systems.
They do this by focusing on championing rights by empowering and supporting women and birthing people, training healthcare professionals, holding systems and institutions to account and making visible the diverse experiences of maternity care. It is through this combination of activities that they contribute to the movements for birth justice and reproductive justice.
The UK has one of the highest maternal death rates in Europe and the outcomes for marginalised women and birthing people are even worse. Black women are almost four times more likely to die and Asian women twice as likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth than white women. Inquiries into maternity failings at NHS trusts, including Morecambe Bay, Shrewsbury and Telford, and East Kent, highlight that too often the voices of women and birthing people are ignored or dismissed by healthcare professionals, contributing to avoidable tragedies.
Women and birthing people are increasingly aware that the odds are stacked against them and they do not trust the UK’s maternity system. Women and birthing people are seeking out information on their rights and how to advocate for them. It is vital that their rights-based information and advice reach the women and birthing people who need it, and their training, policy, research and campaign work is shifting policy, practice and systems.
If you are worried about your maternity care, please know that Birthrights is here for you – you can access their factsheets about your rights or contact them for information and advice. Advice & Factsheets – Birthrights
Birthrights' Achievements / Goals
Birthrights work across the UK and last year their small team of part-time staff supported over 182,000 individuals in their journeys for birth justice (their rights-based information factsheets attracted 182,500 unique visitors and over 950 people were supported through their information and advice email service).
Birthrights trained over 650 healthcare professionals across 17 hospitals and trusts on how the law applies to practice. They also published their seminal report Systemic Racism, Not Broken Bodies which has been used as a source of evidence from the Women and Equalities Select Committee to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
Birthrights' Social Channels
Donate to Birthrights here, or check out their social media channels below!