A Meeting of the Minds: Planned Homebirth Consensus Summit

UPDATE: The homebirth summit is underway, as we speak.  With numerous stake holders at the table together in Warrenton, VA , including OBs & FPs, midwives, nurses, insurers, childbirth educators, administrators, doulas, public health professionals, legislatures, and researchers…there is certainly hard work afoot as the hand-selected meeting attendees work to hammer out consensus on the role homebirth does (and should) play in our country, how best to implement inter-discipline collaboration, as well as ensuring situations like seamless (and respectful) transfers from home to hospital when the need arises.  With several Lamaze International members attending the conference, I hope to bring you some commentary on the summit in the weeks to come. -KMH]

This coming October, midwives, doctors, childbirth educators, hospital administrators, health policy regulators, and public health professionals will get together with key representatives from organizations such as ACNM, MANA, ACOG, AAP,  NACPM, ICTC, Lamaze, AABC,  Our Bodies Ourselves, and AWHONN.  This collective group–all stakeholders in the planned home birth debate–will descend upon a yet-to-be-decided venue to discuss the various sides of the issue, and seek common ground that will, ultimately, benefit mothers opting for planned home birth and their babies.

Says Judith Lothian, RN, PhD, LCCE, FACCE, Associate Professor of Nursing at Seton Hall University, Associate Editor of the Journal of Perinatal Educationand Lamaze International’s representative to the planned home birth consensus committee:

The planning for the home birth consensus meeting began several years ago. I was fortunate to be part of “making history” at the first planning meeting in San Francisco in 2009. For the first time, obstetricians, pediatricians, midwives (including certified professional midwives), childbirth educators, maternity nurses, and birth advocates guided by the courageous vision and commitment of Saras Vedam, sat at the same table and talked (and listened). It was amazing. We left that meeting excited and hopeful. In the last few months, with some funding, the planning for the consensus meeting is finally moving forward. The consensus meeting planned for October 2011 will be the first time that all those with a stake in the planned home birth issue will talk, listen, reflect and, hopefully, find areas of agreement that will ultimately make a difference for mothers and babies. It is so important that Lamaze, representing childbearing women, childbirth educators, and birth advocates, is at the table. This will be a historic and hopefully “birth altering” event.

To find out more about the Home Birth Summit, go here.

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