Respected childbirth: an everyday reality?
Today, we’d like to share with you a glimpse of Tradoctas Managing Partners’ experiences giving birth. Lía and María Leticia gave birth in 2015 and 2012, respectively. Back then, they hadn’t met yet.
In her own words, María Leticia had “a gentle pregnancy and a simple labor,” although she acknowledges that the medical team who cared for her did not provide enough support for her to feel comfortable in the delivery room. She had to endure some out of line comments and a truly traumatic experience: to have an episiotomy without being asked for consent.
In Lía’s case, she lived a “relaxed and really happy pregnancy,” but her labor experience took a bad turn when, even as the medical team reassured her that everything was fine, the midwife convinced her obstetrician to do an episiotomy. According to Lía, “I had to suddenly agree to something that, maybe, if given more time and support to think it through, I wouldn’t have accepted.”
The activism of Nicole Quinteros
According to UNICEF, respected childbirth involves the creation of a birth space in which the rights of pregnant people, their children and their families take the stage. This concept promotes respect for each family's particular characteristics, such as ethnicity, religion, nationality and more, supporting them to make safe, informed decisions.
Lawyer Nicole Quinteros is a feminist activist working at @ninezyadolescenciapba. She holds workshops on obstetric violence and respected childbirth from a legal and psychological perspective together with consultant @bronstainvaleria. Their goal is to offer resources and information to stop violations of any right during childbirth as well as to raise awareness about the importance of mental health during the pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum periods.
Additionally, Quinteros shares feminist information on legal matters through her Instagram account. She discusses topics such as maternity, childhood, gender stereotypes, pregnancy and violence.
Reproductive health: the work of Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood is a reproductive health care provider in the United States. It was founded in 1916 to provide information and healthcare services to pregnant people. According to the organization, one in five American women have chosen to make use of Planned Parenthood's services at least once in their lives.
The healthcare system in this North American country is quite complex, given that access to its services is not fully guaranteed to all by the State, as it is in Argentina. Half of the American population gets medical insurance through their job. Therefore, if they lose their job, they lose their health insurance too. In this context, Planned Parenthood stands out as a private provider specialized in pregnancy healthcare. It also fulfils a highly important role as a national provider of sex education.
It provides voluntary abortion care, birth control, HIV-related services, healthcare services for LGBTIA+ people, STDs treatments and pregnancy and childbirth care, among many other services.
In Argentina, our reality is very different. In addition to our Comprehensive Sex Education Act (2006) and our Access to the Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy Act (2020), we have Law No. 25.929 (2004) which guarantees the right to respected childbirth to all pregnant people. This includes respect for each person's own rhythm and identity, no discrimination of any kind, the power to choose the health professionals who will care for you during labor and the postpartum period, having your baby in a crib next to you and being constantly informed and updated on your own and your baby's health status.