The AIMS Guide to Resolution After Birth: A new AIMS book!

ISSN 2516-5852 (Online)

To read or download this Journal in a magazine format on ISSUU, please click here

AIMS Journal, 2019, Vol 31, No 3

By Shane Ridley

Shane Ridley's headshot

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.

Mind map showing practical steps to resolution after a bad maternity experience


The AIMS Journal spearheads discussions about change and development in the maternity services..

AIMS Journal articles on the website go back to 1960, offering an important historical record of maternity issues over the past 60 years. Please check the date of the article because the situation that it discusses may have changed since it was published. We are also very aware that the language used in many articles may not be the language that AIMS would use today.

To contact the editors, please email: journal@aims.org.uk

We make the AIMS Journal freely available so that as many people as possible can benefit from the articles. If you found this article interesting please consider supporting us by becoming an AIMS member or making a donation. We are a small charity that accepts no commercial sponsorship, in order to preserve our reputation for providing impartial, evidence-based information. You can make donations at Peoples Fundraising. To become an AIMS member or join our mailing list see Join AIMS

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.

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