Women at the centre of maternity care and birth

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Each year more than 3,000 babies are born across the Darling Downs Health region. Having a baby is a life-changing event in a woman’s life and it’s our job to make sure we are supporting her to have the best possible experience.

Today, Darling Downs Health Executive, midwives and doctors, as well as community maternity representatives, came together to sign a pledge to have women at the centre of maternity care and birth.

Nursing Director Women’s and Children’s Wendy Fry said our care goes beyond safety – we respect women’s human rights including autonomy, dignity, feelings, choices and preferences.

“It’s important that we adhere to the Charter of Respectful Maternity Care: The Universal Rights of Childbearing Women and the signing we have undertaken today is our commitment to this pledge.

“We pledge to support the psychosocial, emotional and physical health of women on their motherhood journey and we will genuinely partner with the women in our care and support their right to choose.

“We also pledge freedom from harm and ill treatment, the right to equity in healthcare, informed consent, our Darling Downs Health values of compassion, integrity, dignity, innovation, and courage, as well as a right to confidentiality

“The best part of the pledge we have signed today, is that we co-designed it with the women who use our services, and we are proud to be their support team in the journey to parenthood. The pledge will be displayed as a visual reminder of our commitment to women-centred maternity care and birth.”

Wendy Fry

The Pledge will also be made in the rural birthing hospitals across our health service in the near future.

The Global Respectful Maternity Care Council – a broad group of stakeholders representing research, clinical, human rights and advocacy perspectives – came together to develop the Respectful Maternity Care Charter: Universal Rights of Mothers and Newborns which clarifies and clearly articulates the rights of women and newborns while receiving maternity care within a healthcare facility.

Rights of Birthing Pledge

Download Darling Downs Health Rights of Birthing Pledge [PDF 197kB]