This document complements FIGO’s Statement – Childbirth: A Bill of Rights – by providing an ethical framework for respectful maternity care during pregnancy and childbirth. Together with the bill of rights, it will help to power Sustainable Development Goals 3.1 and 3.2, which aim to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births and end preventable deaths of children and newborns by 2030.
Pregnancy, labour and birth are life-changing physiologic processes for most women and their families that benefit from collaboration between health care practitioners delivering maternity care. Multidisciplinary education and teamwork – including communication, collaboration, consultation and referral – are essential to ensuring optimal care for women and babies, especially those with obstetric-neonatal risk, or when obstetric-neonatal complications occur.
FIGO, in collaboration with colleagues from the International Confederation of Midwives, White Ribbon Alliance, the International Pediatrics Association and the World Health Organization (WHO), launched the International Childbirth Initiative to promote active involvement by professional associations, governments, non-governmental organisations and civil society to improve quality of care and reduce abuse, neglect, and extortion of childbearing women in facilities.
FIGO calls on these agencies to endorse and collaborate to implement the initiative. By working together, we can rapidly bring changes to the birthing environment that will help to ensure quality birthing experiences and reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. Furthermore, FIGO and its partners call upon all donors and health systems to support this initiative for implementation in across all countries.