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Why Human Rights in Childbirth Matter (Pinter & Martin Why It Matters: 9) Paperback – 8 Sep 2016
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About the Author
Rebecca Schiller is Chief Executive of the human rights in childbirth charity Birthrights and a media spokesperson on reproductive rights and birth related issues.
Rebecca is a recognised birth doula, offering support to birthing women and their families in London and East Kent. She was nominated for Doula of the Year 2014. Her experiences have led her to blogging and freelance journalism on related topics and her short book, All That Matters: Women's Rights in Childbirth is published by the Guardian.
Before entering the childbirth world she completed a Masters degree in War Studies with a focus on human rights issues. She has worked in the charity and NGO sector, most recently at Human Rights Watch. She has two children.
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Why Human Rights in Childbirth Matter is a book I recommend wherever I go whoever I speak to. It's a must, and every single woman who is pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant should get one. Every single birth worker as well!
Thank you Rebecca Schiller for this amazing read.
Thank you Rebecca Schiller for your expertise and commitment to this fundamental issue.
The book is presented in two sections, the smaller second section being a clear and useful guide to women's rights in birth, with a FAQ approach and a comprehensive set of information.
The bulk of the book examines the matter in more detail, starting with an exploration of the context in which women give birth, both in developed and developing parts of the world. She provides a very good explanation of the Human Rights Act and how it applies to birth, with several compelling examples. This is the first book where I have ever read every one of the real life quotations.
I found that the chapter on Feminisms of Birth particularly resonated. Schiller's discussion of the political dilemma of campaigning to improve women's experience, without polarising people into different camps, was enlightening and helpful. She concludes, of course, that the ultimate aim must be respectful, compassionate and individualised care based on the best available evidence, but trusting every woman to make decisions about what happens to her own body.
If you have ever pondered the real meaning of consent, or witnessed a non-consented procedure, or been asked to consent to something you did not fully understand, this book will be meaningful to you. Absolutely everyone involved in birth needs to be aware of the contents of this book, above all the women heading into the system, whatever that system is in their part of the world.