Saturday, August 23, 2008

the birth survey

I'm not a person who usually gets swept up in causes, but after giving birth to two children and sharing stories of the experience with friends on both sides of the Atlantic, I became more and more disturbed by the trends in maternity care in the USA. At first glance it seems we are dazzled with 'choice' in this country, if fortunate enough to have decent health insurance. We can choose our obstetrician or midwife (if we can find a hospital that actually has midwives, or have insurance that covers home birth midwives) and choose the hospital where we get our care and give birth, but when you dig deeper it becomes apparent that without reliable data about rates of intervention such as the use of pitocin, Edpidurals or C sections for individual hospitals and practioners, this choice is an illusion. This survey from the coalition for the improvement of maternity services is collecting data about hospitals and health care practioners that women will be able to use in the future to make informed choices about where to give birth. If you had a baby in the USA in the past three years you can contribute.