AIMS Ireland is a consumer-led voluntary organisation that was formed in early 2007 by women, following their own experiences in the Irish maternity system. Our mission is to highlight normal birth practices, which are supported by evidence-based research and international best practices, and campaign for recognition of maternal autonomy and issues surrounding informed choice and informed refusal for women in all aspects of the maternity services. AIMS Ireland campaigns on the grounds that birth choice is a basic human right as declared at the International Conference of Human Rights and Childbirth, “It is a fundamental human right for women to choose the circumstances in which they give birth, with whom and where, including a choice between hospital and home birth” and Article 8, European Court of Human Rights seen here.
What is normal birth? “We define normal birth as: spontaneous in onset, low-risk with little to no intervention. In a normal birth there should be a valid reason to interfere with the natural process. ” (World Health Organisation, WHO, 1997).
AIMS Ireland is a strong proponent of informed choice in maternity care. The HSE have recently published a National Consent Policy that restricts informed consent and informed refusal of treatment for pregnant women. It is important that all women are aware of this new Consent Policy and the legal ramifications of the 8th Amendment (Article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution) on their right to informed decision making in their maternity care. See page 41, Section 7.7.1: “because of the Constitutional provisions on the right to life of the unborn [Article 40.3.3] there is significant legal uncertainty regarding a pregnant woman’s right to [consent]” Click Here.
AIMS Ireland offers independent, confidential, non-judgmental support and information on maternity choices and care to women and their families. We assist in complaints and run a private online Birth Healing support group for women following difficult and/or traumatic birth. Our day-to-day contact with service users, consumer interest groups and healthcare practitioners helps us stay informed of key issues in maternity care and services which we can directly feedback to service providers, media, HSE and Government in an effort to improve maternity services on a local and national level.