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Women and newborns need quality maternity care services

Healthworkers must be supported to provide that care. There are no exceptions in times of crisis, even the current COVID-19 pandemic, which is putting more pressure on already overstrained health systems.

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  • Primary Hashtags: #SaferTogether #RespectfulCare #COVID19
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Key Resources:

Fact Sheets:

Social Media Graphics & Sample Messages

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Some resources also available in CroatianItalian | Polish | Slovak | Spanish

As women, families and healthworkers grapple with pregnancy and childbirth amidst the #COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to rely on evidence to guide health practices and policies. #SaferTogether

All pregnant women, including those with confirmed or suspected #COVID-19 infections, have the right to high quality care before, during and after childbirth.

Comprehensive and respectful maternity care – in times of #COVID and beyond – includes antenatal, intrapartum, postnatal, newborn and mental health care. #SaferTogether #RespectfulCare

#DYK: WHO recommends pregnant women with #COVID-19 symptoms be prioritized for testing and if positive, may need specialized care. #SaferTogether

C-sections should only be performed when medically justified, even during the #COVID-19 pandemic. Birth method should be individualized and based on a woman’s preferences alongside health provider recommendations. #SaferTogether #RespectfulCare

Mothers and infants are #SaferTogether and should be enabled to remain together and practice skin-to-skin contact, especially immediately after birth during establishment of breastfeeding, whether they or their infants have suspected, probable, or confirmed COVID-19. #RespectfulCare

Even if a newborn is in the neonatal unit, mothers should be supported to express milk, have access to the unit and participate in the care of the baby. #SaferTogether #RespectfulCare

The Respectful Maternity Care Charter: Universal Rights of Women and Newborns, informed by evidenced-based best practices and tied to established human rights frameworks, continues to guide our work, especially during times of crisis. Here are messages tied to all 10 Charter articles:

Right to Freedom from Harm

For some women, safe childbirth was a concern even before this pandemic hit. We cannot let the strain of a pandemic on a health system already biased against women of color fail women even more. #RespectfulCare #SaferTogether

Right to Respect for Choices and Preference

Giving birth can be tough! Women should be supported to have a birth companion of their choice present regardless of COVID status. #SaferTogether #RespectfulCare

Right to Confidentiality & Privacy

No one is allowed to share your or your newborn’s personal or medical information – including your COVID19 status – without your consent. #RespectfulCare #SaferTogether.

Right to Dignity & Respect

Use her name. It’s not “the COVID19 woman in room 1”. But it is... “Sally in room 1 who is about to birth her baby” #RespectfulCare #SaferTogether

Right to Equitable Care

Health outcome disparities based on bias can worsen in a crisis. All women have a right to #RespectfulCare #SaferTogether

Right to Healthcare

While labor and delivery units around the world are grappling with staff shortages, nurses are stepping up to volunteer extra hours and ensure women receive quality care. #RespectfulCare #SaferTogether

Right to Not be Detained

In some countries around the world, women are detained because they cannot afford to pay for the services received. This #humanrights violation not only hurts women and their families, but can lead to the further spread of #COVID-19. Women and their newborns cannot be detained in a healthcare facility – EVER.

Right to be with Parents or Guardians

Some health systems are separating parents from their newborns at birth due to fear of #COVID-19. Early, close contact is key to helping a baby thrive. New parents and newborns are #SaferTogether.

Right to Identity

Registering the birth of a newborn is an important step, even if they die shortly after birth. #RespectfulCare #SaferTogether

Right to Nutrition

Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants and provides protection against infectious diseases. Breastfeeding women and babies are #SaferTogether and should not be separated, as there is no evidence to show that COVID can be transmitted through breast milk. #RespectfulCare

Additional Messages

Both in times of uncertainty and calm, you and your newborn are #SaferTogether and should be taken care of in a gentle and compassionate way. #RespectfulCare

Social support is especially important for those already marginalized by health systems. A birth companion is more important than ever for pregnant women in this uncertain time. #RespectfulCare #SaferTogether

When a birth companion is present, women have better health outcomes – shorter time in labor, less C-sections, and better emotional well-being. Women are #SaferTogether with a birth companion. #RespectfulCare

Even when dire situations require both patients and providers to make hard choices, informed consent cannot be disregarded. Pregnant patients must be provided with information and opportunity to decide how that information affects them. #RespectfulCare #SaferTogether

For some pregnant women of color, heightened racism based on incorrect perceptions as primary carriers of #COVID19 puts their right to equitable care at greater risk. #RespectfulCare #SaferTogether

#DYK: Some hospital systems are closing the doors to labor and delivery wards entirely to keep beds clear for coronavirus patients – without making public announcements. Pregnant women have a right to access quality maternal care. #SaferTogether

Close contact and early, exclusive breastfeeding help a baby to thrive. Mothers and babies are #SaferTogether and should be supported to share a room with their baby and provide skin-to-skin contact.

You have a right to stay together with your baby! Skin-to-skin contact helps create an early bond AND boosts baby's immune system and protects against illness and disease. #SaferTogether

Breastfeeding is not only the safest, most reliable way of feeding infants in an emergency, but protects newborns from illness and death, from infancy to childhood. Moms and babies are #SaferTogether

#DYK: Breastmilk has protective effects that are strong against infectious diseases? Supporting mothers to breastfeed is key to keeping newborns safe. #SaferTogether #RespectfulCare

Questions or Interested in Translating the Resources?

Contact Marissa at White Ribbon Alliance at mware@whiteribbonalliance.org

Created By
Marissa Ware
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