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The rights of pregnant and birthing mothers

The birth of a child should be a time of excitement and joy. You should be able to enjoy your pregnancy and the birth of your child without fear of preventable medical problems and complications. At every step of the process, from your first doctor’s appointment after learning you were pregnant until your release from the hospital after the birth, you have the right to quality care and support from your Oregon doctor and other medical professionals. 

Lack of quality care can have a significant impact on your pregnancy and can result in complications for you and your child. If you believe that you or your baby is suffering because of the actions or inaction of a care provider, you do not have to remain silent. It is helpful for each pregnant mother to know her rights and have proper expectations for the duration of her pregnancy and while delivering. 

Knowing is critical 

The more you know about your rights, the more prepared you will be to defend yourself if necessary and to understand if you are experiencing a violation of your rights. In addition to quality care and expectations of proper behavior from your care providers, you also have the right to information and education. Some of the rights that pregnant and birthing mothers have include the following: 

  • You have the right to ask as many questions as you want about your care, what is happening and the health of your baby. 
  • You have the right to receive care that is appropriate, culturally sensitive and tailored to your needs. 
  • You have the right to respect from your care providers, as well as the right to experience emotions without guilt or fear. 
  • You have the right to challenge the decisions that doctors and other providers make for your care. 
  • You have the right to think before you make decisions, and you have the right to remove any member of your care team if you choose to. 

A violation of your rights could lead to unexpected medical outcomes, including harm to you and your baby. If you believe that you experienced medical malpractice or preventable issues during your pregnancy or birth, you will benefit from seeking an opinion regarding your legal options. It may be appropriate to seek compensation and recovery through the form of a civil claim.