About AIMS

Our history

AIMS (Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services) was founded in 1960 by Sally Willington “to support women and families to achieve the birth that they wanted.”

Since the 1960s AIMS has campaigned tirelessly for improvements to the UK's maternity services, as well as supporting women and pregnant people, their families and others who support them both directly through our helpline, and by sharing information with our books, Journal and website resources.

In 2014 we became a registered charity with the slogan “There for your mother. Here for you. Help us to be there for your daughters.”

On launching our website in 2017 we adopted the strapline ‘Women Supporting Women’ to reflect our roots and identity as a feminist organisation. As such we recognise the oppression of women in the maternity services and have fought against this for over 60 years.

In 2017 we adopted our current mission statement (see below) to signal our support for all maternity service users. In line with this, we now use the strapline “Supporting you, Campaigning for all” to summarise the two sides of our mission.

The Trustees’ Annual Reports and accounts which we have submitted to the Charities Commission may be found here

Our candle image has been the AIMS logo since the late 60s. It represents our commitment to change, no matter how large or small the change may be. "It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.”

AIMS is a long standing member of the European Network of Childbirth Associations

You can read more about our history in

Our vision

A future where every family has a positive maternity experience where they feel informed, heard and respected.

Our mission

We support all maternity service users to navigate the system as it exists, and campaign for a system that truly meets the needs of all.

Our values

  • Integrity
  • Empathy
  • Respect
  • Collaboration
  • Courage
  • Impact

Our work

AIMS works towards better births for all by campaigning and information sharing, protecting human rights in childbirth and helping everyone to know their rights, whatever birth they want, and wherever they want it.

AIMS mission is supported by the following three pillars of work:

  • Providing objective, accessible, evidence-based information tailored to the needs of maternity service users and those who support them

  • Providing individual support and tools for self-advocacy

  • Campaigning and lobbying at national level for the service improvements that we believe are needed

Our position

AIMS has set out its position on a number of important maternity services issues in a series of position papers. These cover the following topics:

Our policies

Our Advertising, Promotion and Endorsement policy commits us not to receive any funding or benefit from being linked with any commercial enterprise. This is to ensure that AIMS is, and is seen to be, wholly independent of any third parties in order to preserve our reputation for providing impartial information.

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity statement reflects our determination to promote equality, diversity and inclusivity for everyone who uses the maternity services.

Our Environmental policy sets out our commitment to the principles of environmental protection and sustainable development.

Our Data Protection and Privacy policy explains how we use and how we try to protect the personal data provided to us by our members, Volunteers, donors, and other contacts.

Our language

AIMS understands that there is a huge diversity of people who use the maternity services. AIMS seeks to support all users, so we try to make the language we use in our books, webpages and other materials inclusive. Much of the time we use ‘you’ – directed at the reader who will usually be the maternity service user. We use the terms mothers or women when discussing research or guidelines in line with what the authors have used. Elsewhere we try to use a mix of terms to reflect the fact that some of those who give birth do not identify as women, whereas others feel equally strongly that their gender is female and wish to see this recognised.

In our social media output, the same principles apply but it is not always practical to use a mix of terms within one post. Instead we aim to use a mix of terms across our posts and not favour any one to the exclusion of others.

For articles in the AIMS Journal, we make authors aware of our guidance but leave it up to them to decide what language they use. We consider that it is important to allow authors their own ‘voice’ and we try to ensure that a range of voices are represented.

Get involved

AIMS accepts no commercial sponsorship so relies on membership subscriptions, donations, profits from AIMS Shop sales, grants and other fundraising to be able to continue our work.

To become an AIMS member or to join our free mailing list click here

To make a donation click here

AIMS is run by a small team of Volunteers, and we always gratefully welcome more. To find out about volunteering opportunities click here

Contacts

Click here for AIMS contact details

Latest Content

Journal

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Just ‘birth’: the phenomenon of bir…

AIMS Journal, 2023, Vol 35, No 4 Editor’s note: AIMS is honoured to present Mariamni’s research study in which she interviews 10 women who gave birth without a healthcare…

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An interview with Dr Rebecca Moore…

AIMS Journal, 2023, Vol 35, No 4 Interview by Alex Smith Hello Rebecca, thank you for agreeing to answer some questions about your work with Make Birth Better. I wonder i…

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Postpartum: A short story

AIMS Journal, 2023, Vol 35, No 4 Editor’s note: This is a fictional account of the state of mind of a mother suffering postnatal illness. As such, it is a powerful and di…

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Events

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The Foundation Stones for Supportin…

‘The Foundation Stones for Supporting the Physiological Process in Pregnancy and Birth’ is led by Alex Smith (AIMS Journal Editor and Helpline volunteer) supported by Deb…

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AIMS Workshop: Focus on Resolution

Join us for the an interactive online AIMS workshop " Focus on Resolution " with Dr Rebecca Moore . Rebecca who is a Consultant Psychiatrist and founding member of Make B…

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Next steps for NICE in England

This conference will discuss next steps for NICE in delivering innovation and supporting clinical practice in health and social care in England. It is bringing stakeholde…

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Latest Campaigns

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BICS Conference poster: AIMS Campai…

AIMS Campaigns Team volunteers are presenting a poster about our campaign for Physiology-Informed Maternity Services at the 2023 conference of the British Intrapartum Car…

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Review: National Cohort study on in…

This is a review of the paper (https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1004259%20 ) published on July 20, 2023 by researchers at St George’…

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SWEPIS – The Swedish Post-term Indu…

The evidence on whether there is a benefit in inducing labour if a pregnancy would otherwise last beyond 41 or 42 weeks is far from clear. 1 The SWEPIS study 2 , publishe…

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