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Respectful maternity care

Guest Editors:
Raymond Akawire Aborigo
: Navrongo Health Research Centre, Ghana
Wubet Alebachew Bayih: Debre Tabor University, Ethiopia
Hilary Brown: University of Toronto, Canada
Shuby Puthussery: University of Bedfordshire, England


BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth called for submissions to our Collection on Respectful maternity care.

The World Health Organization defines respectful maternity care (RMC) as care that maintains dignity, privacy, and confidentiality of pregnant and birthing women, ensures freedom from harm and mistreatment, and enables informed choice and continuous support during labor and birth.  RMC is considered a fundamental human right.  Despite the acknowledged importance of providing RMC to all women, many women still experience disrespect and abuse during labor and birth across global contexts.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Raymond Akawire Aborigo: Navrongo Health Research Centre, Ghana

Dr. Raymond Akawire Aborigo holds a PhD with focus in Global Public Health from MONASH University, Australia. He is a senior researcher and currently the head of Research Coordination and the head of the Social Science and Public Health Department at the Navrongo Health Research Centre. Dr. Aborigo has led the implementation of several research projects and is currently leading research to investigate the drivers of poor person-centered care, to validate tools for person-centered care at antenatal clinics and to develop a tool for measuring person-centered care at postnatal clinics. He has implemented a facility-based quality improvement curriculum that uses simulation-based training for obstetric and neonatal emergency response in Ghana. He has close to 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals most of which focus on maternal and newborn health.

Wubet Alebachew Bayih: Debre Tabor University, Ethiopia

Wubet Alebachew Bayih is an Assistant Professor currently lecturing, researching and providing community service on maternal and neonatal health. Wubet is also an Editorial Board member for the international journals ‘PLOS ONE’ and ‘BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth’. His background in maternal and neonatal health nursing has driven his research career to improve pregnancy outcomes-particularly outcomes of risk pregnancies, and optimizing neonatal health. His research program aims to improve the public’s recognition and response to pregnancy and neonatal danger signs and improve the evidence-base for appropriate emergency care. He has over 60 peer-reviewed articles including systematic reviews and meta-analyses and umbrella reviews. 

Hilary Brown: University of Toronto, Canada

Hilary Brown, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, in the Department of Health & Society, the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and the Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. She is also an Adjunct Scientist at Women’s College Hospital and ICES. Dr. Brown holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Disability & Reproductive Health. Her research program uses epidemiologic methods to examine maternal and child health and mental health across the life course, with a particular focus on populations with disabilities and chronic illness, health equity, and the social determinants of health.

Shuby Puthussery: University of Bedfordshire, England

I am a Reader in Maternal & Child Health and Director of the Maternal and Child Health Research Centre at the University of Bedfordshire, UK. My  academic identity, both national and international, is closely aligned  with applied research that draws from different disciplines,  on the health needs, care experiences and health outcomes for mothers, babies and families, especially those who  experience biological and social vulnerabilities. My research has spanned across different countries (UK, India, Nigeria, Taiwan) and population groups, such as migrant and ethnic minority mothers, babies born preterm and/ or with low birth weight, mothers and children at risk of malnutrition, obesity or overweight and mothers with specific impairments or disabilities.  My research has directly impacted upon policy and practice, and have informed the development of services and interventions for mothers and babies locally, nationally and globally. I have authored more than 100 publications including peer reviewed journal articles, abstracts, commissioned reports and online learning resources.

About the collection

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth called for submissions to our Collection on Respectful maternity care.

The World Health Organization defines respectful maternity care (RMC) as care that maintains dignity, privacy, and confidentiality of pregnant and birthing women, ensures freedom from harm and mistreatment, and enables informed choice and continuous support during labor and birth.  RMC is considered a fundamental human right.  Despite the acknowledged importance of providing RMC to all women, many women still experience disrespect and abuse during labor and birth across global contexts.

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth launched a Collection on ‘Respectful maternity care’ to bring together research on the benefits of respectful maternity care and the challenges in its implementation, both at the provider level and the system level.  Both qualitative and quantitative research were welcomed.  Topics of interest included, but were not limited to, prevalence of disrespect and abuse in maternity care, implementation of respectful maternity care, RMC and maternal and neonatal outcomes, interventions to enhance and promote RMC, RMC in postnatal care, and effective communication and informed choice.

Image credit: Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images/Images of Empowerment

  1. Experiencing upsetting disrespect and abuse (D&A) during labour and birth negatively affects women’s birth experiences. Knowing in what circumstances of birth women experience upsetting situations of D&A can c...

    Authors: Denise R. Leijerzapf, Marit S. G. van der Pijl, Martine H. Hollander, Elselijn Kingma, Ank de Jonge and Corine J. M. Verhoeven
    Citation: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2024 24:170
  2. Mistreatment of childbearing women continues despite global attention to respectful care. In Ethiopia, although there have been reports of mistreatment of women during maternity care, the influence of this mis...

    Authors: Habtamu Kasaye, Vanessa Scarf, Annabel Sheehy and Kathleen Baird
    Citation: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2024 24:129
  3. A safe and satisfactory childbirth experience with the least amount of pain constitutes one of the main domains of reproductive healthcare. The most important aspect of labor pain management is the moral and p...

    Authors: Parvin Yadollahi, Leila Bozorgian and Roksana Janghorban
    Citation: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2024 24:70
  4. Respectful maternity care (RMC) remains a key challenge in Afghanistan, despite progress on improving maternal and newborn health during 2001—2021. A qualitative study was conducted in 2018 to provide evidence...

    Authors: Partamin Manalai, Nasratullah Ansari, Hannah Tappis, Young Mi Kim, Jelle Stekelenburg, Jos van Roosmalen and Sheena Currie
    Citation: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2024 24:48
  5. Respectful maternity care (RMC) - a fundamental human right for all women - prioritizes autonomy and rights of pregnant and birthing women throughout the entire childbirth journey. Despite increasing acknowled...

    Authors: Shuby Puthussery, Wubet Alebachew Bayih, Hilary Brown and Raymond Akawire Aborigo
    Citation: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2023 23:798
  6. Increasing evidence show that women across the world face unacceptable mistreatment during childbirth. Person-centered maternity care is fundamental and essential to quality of healthcare services. The aim of ...

    Authors: Xiaoying Zhong, Rong Hu, Patience A. Afulani, Xixi Li, Xiujing Guo, Tingting He, Dehua Li and Zuowei Li
    Citation: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2023 23:652

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomed submission of Research Articles, Data Notes, Case Reports, Study Protocols, and Database Articles. Please ensure you have read our submission guidelines before your manuscript was submitted. Articles for this Collection were submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process if asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, "Respectful maternity care" must be selected from the dropdown menu.

Articles underwent the journal’s standard peer-review process and were subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Guest Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Guest Editors have competing interests were handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.