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Sunday, June 7, 2009

World Birthing Rights Day

Over at ZGZ - Pro Parto Natural, they are bringing our attention to World Birthing Rights Day, which happens to be today, June 7th. (These are also the lovely people who brought us a home birth on a TV commercial for a mattress. Please go visit their blog and favor them with some hits.)

The blog is in Spanish, so I will translate the page for you here. Even if you don't speak Spanish, I would still encourage you to click the link to give the blog the credit it deserves. Go ahead and click on it, then come back and I'll tell you what it says. And I completely agree.

On June 7th we celebrate "World Birthing Rights Day."

The objective is to raise society's awareness that birth is a crucial rite of passage in the life of every human being, that it is his welcome to this unfamiliar (to him) world, and that is it a key moment in his psychological development that will leave an indelible mark on his very being and feeling.

Also, the act of giving birth [ed. note: literally translated means "to bring to the light." How beautiful!] is a highly-charged emotional experience for the woman, and such a unique experience that every woman should have the right to decide where and in what manner to carry it out.

World Birthing Rights Day is a call to respect the natural process of birth, to provide informed consent to mothers about their birth options, to make it possible for mothers to birth in whatever manner they prefer, to facilitate the initiation of the breastfeeding relationship at the moment of birth, and to not separate mother and baby unless absolutely unavoidable.

Here we have included the 10 commandments for birthing rights, from Plataforma Pro Derechos de Nacimiento (Program for Birthing Rights):


Birthing Rights

These rules speak about the rights a baby acquires when we decide to give it the opportunity to be born.

From that moment, we are obligated to properly accompany [the baby] in this life adventure, having been charged with carrying it out in the most gratifying, enriching, and successful manner possible.

Research shows that vivid experiences in the first stages of life (pregnancy, birth, and infancy) leave on the human being an indelible mark, which consequences will accompany him for the rest of his life.

With the intention of preventing later psychological consequences, we invite mothers, fathers, and health care professionals, to honor these guidelines.


1. The baby has the right to realize his full physical and emotional capacity, in utero, outside of the uterus, and especially during the transition between both.

2. The baby and his mother have the right to intimacy and respect, before, during, and after the birth.

3. The baby has the right to be personally cared for by his mother, at minimum, for the first year. The mother has the right to enjoy intimate contact with her baby whenever she desires.

4. The baby has the right to enjoy breastfeeding on demand, at minimum, for the first year. During his stay in the hospital, the "10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding" established by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, and recommended by the Asociación Española de Pediatría (Pediatric Association of Spain) should be respected.

5. The baby and his mother have the right to stay together in the first hours and days after birth. There is no hospital visit or stay that justifies separating mother and baby.

6. The premature baby has the right to be incubated by the Kangaroo Mother Care method. No aspect of neonatology is of greater benefit to the baby than his mother's skin.

7. The baby and his mother have the right to have the momentum, rhythm, atmosphere, and company of labor and delivery respected, physiologically as well as emotionally. A healthy baby and mother have the right to not be treated as though sick.

8. The baby in utero has the right to his mother's emotional well-being not being disturbed by excesses or abuses by health care providers during the pregnancy.

9. Parents have the obligation to research, and the right to receive, information and good counseling, and to take personal responsibility for the decisions related to the well-being of the baby.

10. The premature baby has the right to stay attached to his mother's body until he reaches his optimal weight and health status.
No aspect of neonatology is of greater benefit to the baby than his mother's skin.

2 comments:

Amber said...

I especially appreciate the rights as they pertain to premature infants. As a preemie mom I can tell you that reforms to the way premature infants are treated are very sorely needed. And long overdue.

Angie said...

I absolutely agree with Amber's pp. I am a mother to 4 girls, 2 of whom were late term preemies born at 34 and 36 weeks. I had to fight like a mad woman to breastfeed my babies during their hospital stay despite breast milk being the PERFECT food for premature infants. I hope they make changes for future mommies. Thank you for posting this!!! ~~Angie~~