Many people invest energy and resources (and are perpetually frustrated) in pursuit of better outcomes for mothers and babies in this country. We have tried a variety of strategies, but thus far have seen little progress. Indeed in some areas, statistics have been abysmal and unabated for years. We persistently fund programs of similar ilk that offer more of the same kind of care…and expect improved outcomes. We support a system which dis-empowers women from the beginning. We place birth in a sterile environment, strap women in unnatural positions for birth and do not appreciate the need of babies to be handled gently and have time to bond. If we are to truly experience meaningful change for our mothers and babies, we must work toward sweeping systemic change and explore new places for answers.
Unless and Until…
Our healthcare system embraces a new paradigm and acknowledges for the majority, birth is a natural biological and sociological process rather than an illness, fraught with danger and problems
We have sweeping malpractice reform that allows providers to practice without fear and financial burden, yet provides for those truly injured and in need of compensation
Our culture sees a need to change the focus of pregnancy care from a sterile medical model to a wellness model offering freedom and choice
We offer programs that teach our young people about healthy sexuality and offer them information they need to invite pregnancy at the appropriate time, having fewer “unwanted” pregnancies
All providers caring for women realize women themselves have the true ability to effect healthy pregnancy outcomes., that they have insight, intuition, self-knowledge and power to successfully grow, labor and birth healthy babies
We appreciate that all pregnancies and births do not need all the technology and testing we have available
We are willing to step outside the box of conventionality and courageously address systematic change with innovative approaches
We appropriate funding to programs and providers who document their care with outstanding statistics and greatest consumer satisfaction
We realize our system must reallocate healthcare resource dollars in more prudent ways that assure resources are available for those experiencing a medically complicated pregnancy and birth
…our system will remain inefficient, ineffective and expensive.
Unless and Until…
Our culture views birth as a sacred event
Birth is recognized as a process that can be trusted to be inherently workable as designed
Our system realizes though we may lead the world in many areas, in pregnancy and childbirth, we do not
We look to those systems where maternal infant outcomes are excellent for ideas, best practices
We seek strategies that empower women and offer them resources and support to nurture their pregnancies and give birth with dignity and privacy
We appreciate that babies are sentient beings from conception, exquisitely sensitive to the whole of their uterine environment on the cellular level
All those who attend births have an appreciation for the importance of maternal-infant bonding and allow time for this process to unfold
We seek ways to help women focus on their assets that support a healthy pregnancy rather than on their “risks” and “potential problems”
We transform the design of facilities where women give birth
…we will continue to experience stagnant birth outcome statistics and our nation’s mothers and babies will not be adequately served.