Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 20, Issue 9, pp 1769–1773 | Cite as

Striving for Respectful Maternity Care Everywhere

  • Rose L. Molina
  • Suha J. Patel
  • Jennifer Scott
  • Julianna Schantz-Dunn
  • Nawal M. Nour


Purpose The mistreatment of women during childbirth in health facilities is a growing area of research and public attention. Description In many countries, disrespect and abuse from maternal health providers discourage women from seeking childbirth with a skilled birth attendant, which can lead to poor maternal and neonatal outcomes. This commentary highlights examples from three countries—Kenya, Mexico and the United States—and presents different forms of mistreatment during childbirth, which range from physical abuse to non-consented care to discriminatory practices. Assessment Building on the momentum from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, and the Global and Maternal Neonatal Health Conference, the global community has placed respectful maternity care at the forefront of the maternal and neonatal health agenda. Conclusion Research efforts must focus on context-specific patient satisfaction during childbirth to identify areas for quality improvement.


Respectful maternity care Disrespect and abuse Childbirth Quality of care 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rose L. Molina
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Suha J. Patel
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jennifer Scott
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Julianna Schantz-Dunn
    • 3
    • 4
  • Nawal M. Nour
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Women’s HealthBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA
  3. 3.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Division of Global Obstetrics and GynecologyBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA

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