- The right of every human being to live a dignified life, a life worthy of honour and respect.
- This includes pregnant women and dignity as the guiding factor for every action
- Dignity is evidenced by the values of respect, kindness, understanding, tolerance, and compassion.
- The right to dignity incudes access to health care, education, income, and security to help reach one’s full potential
- The freedom to make decisions about one’s life
- Our dignity is interdependent with the dignity of others.
Excellent maternity care has a unique ability to dignify. It can make women feel valued, respected, honoured and seen.
Think about some of the maternity care you have experienced. How did it made you feel? How might this care be better designed with you in mind?
It’s a really simple question and it can somehow, sometimes be very difficult to answer – because we are conditioned to feel like we don’t have much agency over the maternity care we receive. And in many cases we don’t. But we all should.
It may seem like a small thing, but it is representative of a much more serious issue. Contemporary maternity care was literally built by people who have rarely taken the time to understand how women experience their maternity care.
Thoughtful maternity services can make women feel respected and seen.
We at Maternal Health Matters believe that dignity is to maternity care what justice is to law. In the simplest of terms, it’s about having the care you receive reflect back your value.