We are proud to have interviewed Lisa Malley, Executive Director for Choices in Childbirth, a non-profit organization that focuses on improving maternity care by helping women make informed decisions about where, how and with whom to birth. Their mission is to increase education, outreach and advocacy, and to provide information to the public about women’s rights and options in birth.
Q: Tell us a little about what Choices in Childbirth is all about.
A: Think about conversations between women about childbirth. How many times have you heard, “If only I’d known then what I know now”?
A lot! Why do you think that is? Women often get their information about childbirth from movies, tv shows and other media. Birth is represented as dangerous and traumatic—that’s what makes good drama! It is much harder to find information and images showing birth as a normal, natural and healthy process. At Choices in Childbirth, we try to fill that gap of information and give women the tools to make informed decisions. Getting educated in this way is such an important step in preparing for your baby’s arrival.
Our goal at Choices in Childbirth (CIC) is that every woman has the information they need to make informed maternity care decisions and they never find themselves saying, “If only I’d known then what I know now.”
Q: What’s the first step for most women to being more empowered and getting more information?
A: Choosing a care provider is one of the most important decisions to make in pregnancy. We encourage women to take the time to interview providers to find practitioners that share their birth philosophy. A group of experts in birthing care came up with a list of 10 things to look for and ask about when interviewing potential providers: Questions to Ask Your Care Provider. You can also read more about the criteria for a mother-friendly provider here.
Q: How can expectant moms find a mother-friendly provider near them?
A: In order to connect expectant parents with practitioners that share their birth philosophy, Choices in Childbirth recently launched an Online Provider Network . This online tool allows parents to visit our website, enter their zip code and find all the participating mother-friendly providers in their area. There are 38 types of care providers that are listed in the Provider Network, everything from acupuncture to yoga, birth centers and childbirth educators, prenatal massage therapist and postpartum doulas, and more!
Additionally, the cornerstone of CIC’s educational programming is the Guide to a Healthy Birth, a free publication for expectant parents with articles by renowned professionals in the birth field and resources . The next edition of the Guide will be available mid-November and will feature the article, “Choices in Childbirth’s 5 Steps to a Healthy Birth.”