What are your rights in the delivery room?

Awareness and education of the expecting mother’s rights during labor and delivery is a very important aspect that will help you have a stress-free birthing experience. So, it is essential that you learn your rights, understand them, asses your priorities, and accept that the unexpected might happen and accept. To avoid any stress or anxiety during labor.

Nisreen Nemer
Published on:Sep 15th 2022 |Updated on:Mar 10th 2024
حقوقك في غرفة الولادة

What are your rights in the delivery room? 

1- To have a companion

You have the right to ask to have someone to be with you during labor and delivery. You can ask for more than one companion: your husband, your mother, your doula. However, this depends on the hospital’s policy and the design of the maternity ward. Sometimes several women are placed in the same pre-delivery room, which makes it impossible for the husband to be present. Therefore, you need to get information about this during the last trimester.

2- Freedom of mobility

Unless there is a medical need, you can request to be allowed to move while in labor. You can ask not to be continuously hooked to monitors, walk, and do exercise that can ease labor.

3- Choosing labor and delivery positions

Unless directed otherwise by the medical personnel, you can choose the most comfortable labor and delivery positions to ease labor pain and decrease the risk of episiotomy.

4- The right to hold the baby after birth

If the newborn is healthy and doesn’t need to be taken to the NICU, you have the right to hold him right after delivery. You have the right to the golden hour, skin-to-skin, and to breastfeed right after birth.

5- Delaying cutting the cord

Some studies showed the benefits of delaying cutting the cord after birth. This is another you can request from your doctor.

6- Choosing the pain relief medication

If you choose the medication to ease labor pain, you have the right to choose what type of medication. This can be done after consulting the doctors, you can also choose to start with a low dose, then gradually increase the dose.

7- Choosing the type of birth

Whether to have a vaginal, or cesarean birth, unless there is a medical necessity, is completely up to you.

8- Room sharing

You can ask to have your newborn share the same room with you if the doctor’s recommendation doesn’t say otherwise.

9- Choosing the newborn’s vaccines and medications

You have the right to know what vaccines and medications are given to your newborn, before choosing to accept or refuse them. I recommend consulting your husband and pediatrician before making your decision.

10- To accept or refuse procedures

International health protocols guarantee the patient’s freedom, in accepting or refusing hospital procedures. Of course, after being briefed on the risks by the medical personnel. Some moms, for instance, refuse to give the baby formula after birth to support their decision to breastfeed. It is noteworthy that baby-friendly hospitals won’t give baby formula unless there is a medical situation. Therefore, it is essential to talk to the hospital’s personnel, share your preferences with them, and prioritize the baby’s health and safety.

Being educated about your rights during birth and labor while pregnant, will make your birthing experience more pleasant and less stressful.

Check out Baby and mother-friendly hospitals: All you need to know



Nisreen NemerDoula

Nisreen graduated as a registered nurse from Sharjah University and received her master’s degree in Public Health from Hamdan Smart University. She is a lactation specialist, AMANI childbirth educator, Certified from AMANI Childbirth in Saudi Arabia, and a Doula. With years of experience in woman’s health care and health education, especially the education of pregnant women, to help them be prepared for childbirth. Nisreen dedicates all her time to supporting women in their motherhood journey and makes sure she does her role as a birth companion perfectly. She is always there for her clients from the first contraction, until the baby is born. She is passionate about helping women through birth and breastfeeding and other steps in their motherhood journey.

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