Roda Hosts ENCA Annual Meeting in Zagreb
Roda - Parents in Action hosted this year's annual meeting of the European Network of Childbirth Associations (ENCA). Roda has been a member of ENCA since 2010 but this was our first meeting hosting.
Over three days, ENCA members from the UK, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia convened, planned activities for 2020, especially for the Week of Respectful Childbirth in May. Every partner organisation presented a report on maternity care in their countries over the past year, and discussed challenges facing women and families. Meetings were lively, interesting and filled with discussions as many countries are facing the same challenges - rising caesarean section rates, problems accessing midwifery care, closures of community maternity services and rising intervention rates in hospitals. A guided tour of Zagreb and many interesting dinners were also part of the meeting.
Next year's meeting is planned in the UK, for the 60th anniversary of ENCA member the Association for Improvements in Maternity Services.
The European Network of Childbirth Associations was launched 1993 in Frankfurt/Germany on the initiative of the German partners “GfG” which stands for “Society for childbirth education”. ENCA is a network of organisations campaigning for improvements in perinatal care for mothers and babies. The consumer activists, parents and childbirth educators who join ENCA, recognise the necessity of developing strategies to improve conditions in pregnancy, birth and for the postpartum period throughout Europe. In all countries ENCA supports:
- Empowerment of women
- Family oriented birth
- Midwife-centered care
In 1986 the World Health Organisation (WHO) published a list of recommendations on the appropriate use of technology for birth. Despite this, there has been a standardisation of obstetric and midwifery care in Europe based exclusively on the medical viewpoint. Women-centered care and midwifery practice has been marginalised at the disadvantage of mothers and babies.
ENCA national representatives meet regularly and stay in close contact for developing action, share concerns and support each other for urgent campaigns. They help collect and circulate information, organise conferences. Each country representative is responsible for passing on information to interested childbirth and parents’ organisations in her own country.