Steve Burns/WCBS 880

NYC Introduces New Standards For Childbirth Care

December 10, 2018 - 1:29 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – The city’s Health Department is introducing new standards for respectful care at birth in an effort to make sure women have full say over decisions made during the childbirth process.

While the standards have been in the works for over a year, the announcement comes shortly after a woman alleged the NYPD kept her in shackles when she gave birth in violation of state law.

 “These standards focus on six areas of respectful care: education, informed consent, decision making, quality of care, support, and dignity and nondiscrimination,” said acting Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot.

Barbot says black women are eight times more likely to die of a pregnancy-related cause than white women.

The new NYC Standards for Respectful Care at Birth, as they’re called, aim to shrink that gap.

“Respectful care is one way to mitigate structural racism and unconscious provider bias,” she said.

Barbot says the department will be distributing documents to all 38 city maternity hospitals, along with more than 100 community-based organizations.

“We want provider communities, community-based organizations to really all be on the same page,” she said.