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
The network of ENCA is spread over a lot of European countries. 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.
ENCA follows the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO). In 1986 the WHO published a list of recommendations on the appropriate use of technology for birth. Since then new recommendations were made, even recently. 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 countries organise actions, campaigns and gives information to improve the birth conditions.