What Pregnant Women Should Know About Their Maternity Care Rights
If you are a soon-to-be mother, here are some crucial aspects you need to know about your legal rights during maternity care.
Pregnancy is the beautiful starting point of a woman’s journey to motherhood. During those nine months, expectant mothers will undergo and experience several changes that will prepare them for their little ones’ arrival. While it is important for them to be aware of the essential factors that will affect their pregnancy, they must also be informed of their maternity care rights.
Maternity care refers to the health services provided by the hospital, birthing center, medical professionals, or midwives during pregnancy and after delivery. If you are a soon-to-be mother, here are some crucial aspects you need to know about your rights during maternity care.
The right to quality health care in all maternity stages
From pregnancy until childbirth, all expectant mothers have the right to receive the highest caliber of maternity care from their chosen provider. Whether you decided to give birth in a hospital or a birth clinic, healthcare standards should be equal. Make sure that you are aware of all possible options within your area. You also have the right to choose your birth team, either a medical professional or a midwife. They should be skilled professionals and experienced in normal and complicated childbirth. If you feel the need to change your care provider, do so without hesitations. You are responsible for your welfare and your infant’s, so exercise your rights and do not feel obligated to stay for the sake of others.
Your chosen birth provider should always utilize methods that have been proven safe and effective, and remember that you have the right to decline any procedures, treatments, drugs, or tests that can be harmful to you and your unborn child. Moreover, you have the right to obtain all information related to these methods or drugs, including the benefits, associated risks, and financial costs. Your maternity care provider should never carry out any procedures or provide medications without your consent. Patient confidentiality should be maintained at all times, and remember that you are entitled to your privacy.
The right to be treated with respect
All pregnant women have the right to receive maternity care that honors their cultural and religious background. Every culture and religion is different, and your maternity care provider should respect them. You should receive care without any prejudice or judgment. Communicate the acceptable procedures and traditions with your care provider on the onset of your pregnancy journey. If you feel discriminated at any point by your chosen care team, leave right away.
Pregnant women should also know their rights in the workplace. Remember that laws protect expectant mothers from pregnancy discrimination, so should your employer violate them or act discriminatorily, you need to seek legal assistance immediately.
Know your legal rights in childbirth
Several birth injuries could arise during childbirth, such as bone fractures, damage to the brain and cranial nerve, and abdominal injury. If a medical professional or a midwife failed to give the necessary treatment or action, they should be held accountable for their actions. As an expectant mother, you should know the regulations for midwives and medical professionals during childbearing and the necessary legal steps you need to take in the unfortunate event of malpractice.
Many pregnant women are not aware of their maternity care rights and frequently lose the opportunity to exercise them. We should do our best to ensure that they are appropriately informed of these privileges and the proper recourse if they are violated.