General rights of a pregnant woman
The Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms prohibits any kind of discrimination against a person, including pregnant women, so you are protected wherever you go during pregnancy and have the rights to visit public places, restaurants, stores or even obtain housing without discrimination.
Rights during childbirth
Just like during pregnancy, you have rights when you give birth. You can discuss these with the professional who follows you during your pregnancy, and we also recommend the use of a birth plan during the birth so the people around you know what your rights are:
- To experience labor at your own pace and without unwanted procedures;
- To be accompanied by the people of your choice during labor and delivery and to limit the number of people present at the birth;
- To refuse to be examined by students;
- To be informed of the reasons for all procedures suggested and the possible side effects for you and your baby, to refuse any procedure if you don’t deem it necessary;
- To eat and drink during the whole birth;
- To push and give birth in the position of your choice.
What should you do if your rights are not respected?
If you think your rights aren’t being respected, the first thing to do is to contact the Complaints Committee of the institution in question to make a formal complaint. You can also contact the following resources:
- The Members’ committee of the institution
- Labour laws standards
- The Centre for assistance and support of complaints in your area
- The Coalition Naissance-Renaissance
- The Quebec Public Health Association
Sources : Educaloi – Le congé de maternité, le congé de paternité et le congé parental, Commission des normes du travail du Québec – Congé de maternité, Ressources humaines et développement des compétences du Canada – Normes du travail – Réaffectation et congé liés à la maternité, Commission canadienne des droits de la personne – Politiques durant la grossesse, Protégez-vous – Grossesse et accouchement, Association pour la santé publique du Québec – Dépliant « Grossesse et accouchement – Droit des femmes », Educaloi – La discrimination en matière de logement.