AIMS Ireland’s mission is:

  • To highlight and promote normal birth.
  • To campaign for and promote informed choice and autonomy for women in all realms of maternal health.
  • To provide independent information and support to women and families.
  • To highlight evidence based care practices which are supported by evidence-based research and international best practice.

What is AIMS Ireland campaigning for?

The creation of adequate NATIONAL GUIDELINES for clinical practice in maternity care, which would be in agreement with international best practice as set down by the World Health Organisation.

The PUBLICATION OF OBSTETRIC CLINICAL REPORTS for all hospitals in the country in an annual report with adequate follow up investigation for any major deviations from set national guidelines.

The provision of a NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE BODY to monitor all hospital statistics. This body would include representatives from all stakeholders in maternity care, including health care professionals and healthcare consumers. It is envisioned that THIS BODY would deal with complaints in a clear, structured and independent manner.

To raise AWARENESS OF CURRENT RESEARCH on childbirth and related issues and to support Midwives and other healthcare providers to implement changes in the current system by promoting evidence based practices.

To seek additional TRAINING for obstetric staff in areas which presently need attention, such as ultrasound technology, birthing pool procedures, informed consent and refusal, dealing with parents on a personal level and to promote a greater understanding of and support for the normal birth process.

Clarification of Medical procedures to facilitate INFORMED CONSENT. Informed consent in maternity care should be given in the same way it is given for all other healthcare procedures however; cognisance must be given to fact that labour is not a suitable time to introduce information to the pregnant woman about medical procedures. A relatively limited amount of medical procedures accompany childbirth. A standardised publication should be prepared by healthcare professionals outlining the main medical procedures encountered during delivery and clarifying the main medical benefits and known risks of these procedures. A copy of this document should be provided to all expectant mothers by their healthcare provider in advance of their delivery affording the pregnant woman time to address any concerns they may have prior to giving birth.

Adequate provision of CHOICE in maternity care in accordance with international best practice, including nationwide provision of access to home births for low risk pregnancy and the provision of midwife-led birth centres in all areas.

Extension of care provided by PUBLIC HEALTH NURSES and DOMICILIARY MIDWIVES so that women could choose domino care, rather than becoming in-patients in a hospital setting following delivery. Thus freeing much needed hospital beds.

A re-evaluation of FULL TIME, COMPULSORY ROOMING-IN in maternity hospitals. Limited visiting policies whereby family visiting times are curtailed, hand in hand with no nursery care facilities mean that new mothers do not have adequate provision for care of newborns to take showers or even for toilet visits. Specific consideration should be given to the support of women with specific health issues following delivery who presently are expected to room in with their newborn(s) while they may not be physically capable of providing the necessary care. It is imperative that extra staff be provided to ensure the health and safety of all mothers and babies, this should be carried out in consultation with both consumers and HSE insurers.

REDUCTIONS IN the use of ROUTINE LABOUR INTERVENTIONS for non-medical reasons, such as induction and constant electronic foetal monitoring. An end to outdated use of tests, procedures and restrictions and a reduction in the percentage of caesarean deliveries as recommended by the World Health Organisation.

A standardised and written policy for dealing with all women with SPECIAL NEEDS during pregnancy and labour, this would include women who have suffered from abuse, women with disabilities, women with different cultural and language backgrounds and younger mothers.

Ensuing all women are afforded DIGNITY AND RESPECT during all their antenatal care, during labour and postnatally. This would include privacy afforded to women who miscarry, during labour and breastfeeding.

RESPECT FOR THE CHOICES OF PARENTS concerning their own and their baby’s care.

Ensuring all women get ADEQUATE AND TIMELY ANTENATAL CARE e.g. a reduction in waiting times for 1st appointments to no later than 14 weeks.

What drives us?

We want choices for women. We want women to find their voices and fight for their right to make choices during pregnancy, labour and birth.

We believe that changes in the Irish maternity services, no matter how small, will greatly improve the experience for all women, their families and the maternity service providers.