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By Shane Ridley
I’m very pleased to introduce a book, The AIMS Guide to Resolution After Birth, which is being released shortly, in the new ‘AIMS Guide to’ series. We know that for some women whose births did not go according to any plan they envisaged, or who experienced actual physical abuse by the maternity services, giving birth may have been a traumatic, frustrating, devastating and frightening event. Often, there are no words that can describe the full extent of the trauma that some people experience.
The AIMS Guide to Resolution After Birth offers comprehensive and empathic advice about how to reach a satisfactory resolution to bad maternity experiences, however major or minor they are. It documents the practical steps you can take, and the choices you have – how to approach the issue, who to talk to, and where to go. The illustration below gives an idea of the scope of those choices. There are chapters detailing how to make a formal complaint, with guest contributors writing about the legal aspects and consequences of making a claim as well as information on making decisions about which pathway(s) might be right for you.
And an important and new element to writing complaint letters is introduced – holding providers of services to account by quoting back at them what they are supposed to be achieving.
But we go beyond the formal complaint processes. The AIMS Guide to Resolution After Birth has chapters on working through and understanding your feelings about your birth experience; information on birth trauma; stillbirth; and neo-natal loss. Another chapter outlines what might happen with a referral to Children’s Services and includes suggestions on how to manage this situation. There are lots of signposts to other organisations and places or websites to visit for further information. Finally, there is a chapter suggesting ways of preparing for another birth.
The AIMS Guide to Resolution After Birth is also a book that can be read as part of preparation for pregnancy. The chapters on your rights and what is meant by ‘giving your consent’ will help you to think about how to respond to the care and advice offered to you by your midwife and obstetrician. Birthing partners or helpers will also benefit from understanding how to respond to these two particular aspects.
We understand that complaining or raising a concern is only part of the journey after a bad experience, hence this new book which goes much further than our previous book, “Making a Complaint About Maternity Care”. We’re really hoping that The AIMS Guide to Resolution After Birth will be a very useful resource to help women find a path to recovery and to avoid the pitfalls of the maternity services, thus preventing unnecessary trauma.
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