Please join us and legendary activist, Beverley Beech, to celebrate an incredible 42 weeks!

Legendary Beverley Beech to close AIMS Ireland’s 42 Weeks Campaign

 “The way a woman gives birth can affect the whole of the rest of her life. How can that not matter? Unless the woman herself does not matter”” ~ Beverley Beech

Please JOIN US on Saturday 29th March to celebrate an incredible 42 weeks!

Where?: Cassidy’s Hotel in Dublin, 6-8 Cavendish Row, Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1

When?: 13:00, Saturday, 29 March 2014.

Doors open at 12:30 and admission is €5

Who?: Maternity rights activist, Beverley Beech will be our keynote speaker at the closing event. She will be presenting ‘Informed Choice – an Irish illusion?’

Beverley Laurence Beech is a freelance writer, researcher, campaigner and mother of two who has campaigned to improve maternity care since the birth of her second child in 1976. For six years she was a lay adviser to the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at Oxford and was for seven years a lay member of the Professional Conduct Committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and a member of the Midwifery Committee of the NMC. She was also a lay member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Maternity Forum, and a founder member of CERES (Consumers for Ethics in Research). She lectures, both nationally and internationally, on consumer issues in maternity care and the medicalisation of birth. She is the honorary chairman of the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (UK).

There will also be presentations from our special guests including:

AIMSI member Nuala Hoey, shares her personal experiences of self advocacy: “Birthing Decisions – A Positive Choice”

Co-chair of AIMS Ireland, Krysia Lynch will speak about “42 weeks in the Irish maternity system; the rights, the wrongs, and the going forwards”

Angela Martin, our 42 weeks photographer will make a presentation on birth photography.

We’ll also have a 42 weeks slideshow overview of the campaign and much more!

What?: 42 weeks is a public information campaign for women giving birth in Ireland. 42 weeks began on Sunday 9 June 2013 and ran for 42 weeks, closing this coming Mother’s Day 2014, Sunday 30 March, focusing on healthy positive birth for healthy mothers and babies through positive Irish birth stories, a gallery of beautiful birth photography, and evidence-based articles to help women make the best choices for themselves and their babies.

Why 42 weeks?: Most pregnancies go to full term, which means that a woman will go into spontaneous labour some time between the 37 and 42 week mark. Our campaign is called 42 weeks to reflect that the vast majority of babies will arrive when they are ready – not on an Estimated Due Date (EDD) but some time during this 5 week window – up to and including 42 weeks gestation.

Hope to see you there!

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Birth Statistics for Ireland’s 19 public maternity units 2011

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Ultrasound Scans Part 1: How can a scan help you and your baby?

Our 42 weeks campaign is now reaching its gestational midpoint and as with any pregnancy it’s time to consider ultrasound scans. Some women will have been offered or may have requested earlier scans to either date the pregnancy or to investigate the chances of Down syndrome, but for most pregnant women the developmental or anomaly ultrasound scan at between 18 and 22 weeks is seen as the main scan.

For some women in Ireland this will be the only scan they have. For many public patients living outside Dublin  they will not be offered this scan routinely, but may be able to avail of it by paying for it privately. It is unequal and unfair and we hope that in time this will change so that all pregnant people will have routine access should they choose to.

We’re going to take a look at ultrasound scans over three parts that will examine why mothers are offered scans, what the benefit of scans are, the safety of scans and what the implications of scans are for the rest of their pregnancy and labour. In this first part, we’ll talk about how an ultrasound scan can help you and your baby. The second part will cover the types of scans available and finally, we’ll look at questions to consider when it comes to ultrasound scans. Continue reading

Choice in Pregnancy and Birth in Ireland

Period late? Feeling tired? Sore breasts? Over emotional? These are all signs of pregnancy. Most mothers choose to further confirm such physical symptoms with a pregnancy test. Once you have a positive pregnancy test then a world of choice presents itself! Where will I have my baby? Who will look after me? How will I find out how to give birth? Should I breastfeed? For the first time mother the choices seem overwhelming and endless, and what makes it all the more confusing is that everyone seems to have a different opinion on what you should do! Continue reading

Healthy Births for Healthy Mothers and Babies

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Becoming a parent is full of new, exciting and sometimes difficult experiences and decisions. You may already have an idea of the kind of pregnancy and birth experience you would like, or you may not even know where to start there’s so much to take in! For every mother, the most important outcome is a safe and healthy mother and baby, but as more women are discovering, a healthy birth can be a wonderful and empowering event at the same time. Continue reading

The Importance of Birth Stories

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However, giving birth is not just about having babies. It is about women’s lives, women’s wisdom, women’s bodies, and women’s empowerment ~ Suzanne Arms

Something happened to me shortly after the birth of my first child. I was in hospital, pride surging through my veins, a squidgy baby only hours old nestled in my chest, and I found myself called upon to relay the events of my labour and birth to every visitor, well wisher, midwife, and room-mate. Continue reading