One in four Brazilian women reports suffering from obstetric violence during pregnancy or birth: abusive medical procedures which infringe on mother and baby's basic human rights and can lead to serious health consequences. The Golden Hour is a national network of birth professionals working together to fight against such violence. The project contributes to the empowerment of women by providing quality information, enabling them to make conscious and autonomous choices.
Brazilian women are verbally abused by health professionals, tied down during labour and have surgical procedures performed without their consent. Fear of such violence and lack of information about the benefits of natural childbirth cause many women to choose pre-scheduled c-sections, unaware of the increased risks for both mother and baby. Unnecessary c-sections result in the death of thousands of women in Brazil each year, as well as causing innumerous babies to be born prematurely.
The Golden Hour offers various tools to provide pregnant women with information about their rights and the importance of natural birth: a) a blog with photographs, videos and birth stories is used to stimulate women to recognize the importance and beauty of natural birth; b) online workshops with health professionals; c) weekly informational emails; d) a search tool with details about prenatal groups throughout the country where women can find support during pregnancy.
Birth should be a dignified, natural, intimate and physiological process in which women have the opportunity to grow and learn through their experiences. The Golden Hour provides tools that will transform birth in Brazil, reducing obstetric violence and the number of maternal deaths caused by unnecessary c-sections. Access to information is essential in the creation of a new collective consciousness where women and their babies are the protagonists of the birth experience.