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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Episode 28 (Epilogue): Consumer Advocacy

On Tuesday, we welcomed Amy Romano of Childbirth Connection to discuss the path from consumer to advocate. Amy is the director of the Transforming Maternity Care Project, a division of Childbirth Connection. This is what they're all about:
Childbirth Connection has developed a 2020 Vision for a High-Quality, High-Value Maternity Care System, and followed that through with a Blueprint for Action. If you are a consumer that wants to make positive change in the field of maternal child healthcare, start with these two initiatives.

Amy recommended we heed the words of former IHI CEO Don Berwick, who explains a vision for a better health care system here: well as in this essay.

Amy also told us about the partnership between Childbirth Connection and the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, who are working together to create a website to support informed decision making in maternity care.

We then discussed the "Reinventing the Wheel" syndrome, whereby well-intended maternity care reform activists develop new initiatives that are essentially outlining the same tenets as established initiatives, effectively dividing our efforts. In the spirit of joining forces, these are the Maternally Yours Collective's selection of forward-moving organizations, each with their own unique missions:

MISSION: Improving Maternity Care Systemically / Holistically
ORGANIZATIONS: Childbirth Connection, Lamaze International

MISSION: Cesarean Awareness / VBAC Access
ORGANIZATION: International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN)

MISSION: Legal Recognition of Certified Professional Midwives
ORGANIZATIONS: The Big Push for Midwives, The MAMA Campaign

MISSION: Consumer Awareness of Midwives Model of Care
ORGANIZATIONS: Citizens for Midwifery, Where's My Midwife?

MISSION: Breastfeeding Support and Awareness
ORGANIZATION: La Leche League International

MISSION: Reducing American Maternal Mortality
ORGANIZATION: The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project

MISSION: Legislative Action for Women's and Mother's Rights
ORGANIZATIONS: National Organization for Women, MOMSRising

MISSION: Local Outreach for Pregnant Women, Infants and Young Children
ORGANIZATION: Healthy Start Coalition 

MISSION: Doula Support for Military Mothers
ORGANIZATION: Operation Special Delivery

MISSION: Doula Support for Incarcerated Women
ORGANIZATION: Birth Behind Bars

Finally, we talked with Amy Romano about the much-anticipated book she has co-authored with Henci Goer called Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach. The book, hitting shelves in June, was written for those who want to practice according to the best evidence, assist women in making informed decisions, or advocate for maternity care reforms. Optimal Care in Childbirth provides an in-depth analysis of the evidence basis for physiologic care as the standard of care. With specific examination of cesarean surgery, VBAC, walking and position changes in labor, episiotomy, cord clamping, epidurals, the second stage of labor, eating and drinking in labor, and home and birth center birth, this is the most thorough analysis of evidence-based recommendation we have seen to date.

“Without a doubt, being a change-maker is likely to be frustrating and difficult, but when the health and wellbeing of childbearing women, babies, and society is at stake, no effort is too great, no accomplishment that forwards that goal too small.” -Amy Romano

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