The Active Motherhood Movement (in Czech: “Hnutí za aktivní mateřství”, abrev. HAM, originally “Movement for an Active Childbirth”) was founded in the spring of 1999 by several mothers whose eperience in Czech maternity hospitals urged them to raise their voices. They then offered their help in the implementation of the desired reforms. While many things have changed in the Czech Republic over the past couple of years, authoritarian childbirth practices unfortunately still prevail.
In most cases, the birth is directed by physicians who make decisions on behalf of the labouring women. Such practice, based on involuntary medical interventions, actually leads to a denial of woman’s autonomy and often videly violates her right to decide about the way of giving birth to her child as well as her own physical, intimate/sexual and psychological integrity. Birthing women are usually perceived by medical professionals as incompetent and powerless patients.
The Active Motherhood Movement (HAM) is an association open to anyone concerned with improving the Czech Republic’s maternity-care system, not only to mothers, but also to fathers, midwives and nurses, medical practicioners (doctors), psychologists as well as to wide public. HAM’s immediate goal is to change Czech maternity hospitals into supportive and friendly places that would meet parents’ needs. HAM also seeks to prevent medical practitioners from imposing unnecessary or even harmful interventions and procedures on women.
We suggest that the maternity hospitals’ practice should rely on the latest WHO recommendations that is based on profund research. We also want to participate in the discussion about the future of Czech obstetrics, including the still-sensitive question of planned home births and existence of birth centres/birth houses). We would like the childbirth to become a positive experience for Czech women, not a traumatic one.
PLANNED ACTIVITES in 2017
World Week of Respect for Childbirth 2017 – for the eleventh time in the Czech Republic!
(feel free to visit www.respektkporodu.cz for more information)
- New edition of our informatory brochures CREATING A POSITIVE BIRTH EXPERIENCE in Czech language and newly in ENGLISH! Read here.
- With the support of SCWF we translated our brochures to Vietnamese, Russian and Romani in 2010. More (in Russian)
- Continuing information campaign focused both on parents and medical staff (leaflets, Internet, media publicity)
- Promote IMBCI in the Czech Republic, both among lay public and medical staff
- Offering to provide contact to lawyers specialised in law concerning medical interventions and patients rights. (close cooperation with Czech League of Human Rights)
- Continue discussions and seminars with films about natural childbirth in mother and family centers as well as other places, giving practical advice
- Giving advise and practical help to women who want to give birth normally
- Active participation in relevant discussions with state administration, legislative bodies, health insurance companies and medical societies; implementing the rights of mothers into Czech national legislation
- Screening and evaluating current system of pregnancy, birth and postpartum care in Czech maternity hospitals
- Publicity and support of the IMBCI initiative
- Pay attention to other aspects of motherhood
ID number: 70800758
110 00 Praha 1
Tel.: 776 465 461
account number: 2800358114/2010 , FIO bank Czech Republic