Mother Baby Friendly Birthing Facility Guidelines Created to End Abuse in Birthing Care

FIGO’s Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health Committee, in collaboration with IPA, WRA, ICM, and WHO have published new guidelines for mother-baby friendly birthing facilities. These guidelines were developed in response to rising rates of abuse, neglect, and coercion of birthing women in healthcare facilities.

These guidelines provide criteria promoting the women’s agency in their birthing experiences, nondiscrimination, access to affordable or free evidence-based maternity care, pain relief practices, immediate skin-to-skin mother-baby care and breastfeeding, and the elimination of all verbal, emotional, physical, and financial abuse, practices that all too often accompany birthing care.

These guidelines are a call to action and seek to incite global change, which will not only improve dignity of care but will also reduce maternal mortality and morbidities. We are proud to announce Safe Motherhood Program’s contribution to these guidelines, which will act as a leading step towards global standards of skilled and compassionate maternity care.

Read more about these guidelines at Mother–Baby Friendly Birthing Facilities Initiative and Mother−baby friendly birthing facilities.







Emma Rouda is an MPH graduate student at University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health studying Maternal and Child Health. Emma worked in Zambia on the NASG cluster trials as well as supporting other research and dissemination of the results of the Zambia and Zimbabwe combined results. She assisted with the startup of Beyond Repair, an obstetric fistula study set in Uganda. Emma is currently conducting a secondary data analysis on over 1600 cases of women with severe hypovolemic shock to explore the relationship of comorbidities to maternal mortality.