Book Reviews

ISSN 0256-5004 (Print)

Complete list of book reviews on the AIMS website

AIMS Journal, 2015, Vol 27 No 2

  • Am I Allowed? by Beverley Lawrence Beech; reviewed by Vicki Williams
Am I Allowed?

AIMS 2014
ISBN 13: 9781874413356
£8.00

Reviewed by
Vicki Williams

Find this book on the AIMS publications page
Am I Allowed image

This updated and fully revised edition has been eagerly awaited and does not disappoint.

The 2014 Am I Allowed has almost doubled the size of the 2003 edition, but the focus remains the same - in order to make informed decisions about what happens to them and their baby, women need good quality, up to date information, and, above all, they need to know their rights.

As well as revisiting all the evidence for topics previously covered, the new version also includes loads of information on new developments in maternity care and pregnacy screening tests.

The section on antenatal screening is extended to cover all the screening tests currently offered, with discussion and links for further research should you seek information beyond the scope of this book. It also covers new topics such as the assessment of maternal BMI and maternal blood serum screening.

The section on your rights to birth care and the responsibility of the maternity system is also brought right up to date, with discussion of the Birthplace Study and reference to the research included in other new AIMS pubications. A very helpful section on your rights to decide who is present at the birth of your baby includes a section on planned freebirth and a clear acknowledgement of the difference between actively and positively choosing to birth without professional attendance and the situation for those women who have been unable to get the care they wanted and have ended up with less support than they would have chosen.

This version also, very helpfully, puts at the beginning a list of the acronyms in common use in maternity care. This not only helps when using the book, it is also invaluable when deciphering maternity notes, care plans and keeping up to speed in discussions about your care. Decoding the jargon enables you to remain on an equal footing in discussions with those professionals who might otherwise not offer full explanations.

AIMS truly listens to what women are saying, and, as a result, of all the pregnancy books I have read to date, this is far and away the most comprehensive, helpful and accurate summary I have found. It is a must-have for women, doulas, midwives and anyone else involved in women’s rights.


AIMS supports all maternity service users to navigate the system as it exists, and campaigns for a system which truly meets the needs of all. AIMS does not give medical advice, but instead we focus on helping women to find the information that they need to make informed decisions about what is right for them, and support them to have their decisions respected by their health care providers. The AIMS Helpline volunteers will be happy to provide further information and support. Please email helpline@aims.org.uk or ring 0300 365 0663.

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