Major recommendations for childbirth education emerge from Transforming Maternity Care Symposium

January 29th, 2010 by avatar


Yesterday, a multi-stakeholder group convened by Childbirth Connection released a Blueprint for Action addressing the question:

needs to do what,
to, with, and for whom
over the next five years
to improve the quality of maternity care?

Not surprisingly, one of the answers to “who” is “childbirth educators,” and the Blueprint offered recommendations about “what” the childbirth education community should be doing.  Lamaze International participated in the planning, symposium, and workgroup efforts that produced the Blueprint for Action.  Lamaze will reflect on these and other recommendations made in the Blueprint and accompanying stakeholder workgroup reports as we plan our future as an organization and a profession.

Here are the recommendations that pertain directly to childbirth education:

Revive and broaden the reach of childbirth education through expanded models and innovative teaching modalities.

  • Investigate the current role of formal childbirth education in women’s decision making and the ways they obtain and use information about pregnancy and childbirth
  • Implement and evaluate several models of education for childbearing women:
    *Independent, community-based education that fosters taking responsibility for informed maternity care decision making
    *Peer education with “good birth ambassadors” serving as change agents in local communities
    *Alternate media for childbirth education, such as web-based formats and podcasts.
  • Seek reimbursement for childbirth education models of demonstrated effectiveness.
  • Engage National Priorities Partnership (NPP) members in piloting the various educational strategies and implementing effective ones in fulfillment of their focus on better engaging patients and families in managing their health and making decisions about their care.

The Blueprint for Action and other documents are a treasure trove of direction-setting priorities, action steps, and tools for implementation to achieve meaningful maternity care reform. Science & Sensibility will join other bloggers over the coming weeks to highlight the recommendations and resources put forth. All stake-holders, including consumers, should embrace this vision for the future of maternity care.

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  1. avatar
    Lyn Dee Rankin
    | #1

    Thank you so much Amy. I am a CBE returning to the profession from the 1980’s and trying to jump in and advocate for quality education. We have much easier access to decision makers and influential people and organization. I would ask that Lamaze International make a call to action to members to write to many of these organizations requesting their support for both quality and comprehensive education and to possible offer suggested text for those communications. Perhaps this is to “political,” but the time is now with the major moved being made here. I took it upon myself to write the following short letter to AHIP who is listed as one of the NPP members. Perhaps others will do so as well.

    American’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)

    601 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Ste 500 South

    Washington, CA 20004

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I see you have aligned yourself with the National Priorities Partnership for the purpose of implementing effective educational strategies for better engaging patients and families in managing their health and making decisions about their care.

    Quality health education in the area of Prepared Childbirth has suffered greatly in today’s focus on medicated births and reduction of time allotted to truthful and effective birth education by hospitals in many areas. The birthing consumer, not knowing what they could learn and how they could be enpowered to employ better health practices for themselves and their families are being shorted quality education.

    If the insurance industry would support quality birth education, empowering consumers to question medical intervention of normal birth and to base decisions on evidence-based maturnity practices, costs could be dramatically reduced for this area of healthcare.

    Please make this a priority with your members. Launch an initiative for them to support education instead of intervention. Make them aware of the compelling information being uncovered and summarized by the Transforming Maternity Care Symposium. (see http://www.childbirthconnection.org).

    LynDee Rankin
    Confident Childbirth

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