More Choices, More Birth Centers, More Love!

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There is much to be grateful for in 2014 including my connection to you! Together we are making a difference as I believe Peace on Earth Begins at Birth!

As a birth worker for 30 years, many of the events of this year have been things I have been dreaming of for a long time. My heart is singing to see the tides turning with support from science, caregivers and professional organizations, that support MotherBaby’s ability to birth safely in every setting, honoring the natural process, and bringing an energy of respect, healing and love to all.

There is much to be grateful for in 2014. I’d like to share three BIG changes in the birth world I am most grateful for- here they are:

#1. Homebirth in the UK for low-risk women
In recent guidelines issued from NICE, low-risk pregnant women are urged to avoid hospital births. NHS guidance from National Institute for Health and Care Excellence suggests 45% of births ‘unsuitable’ for labour wards. This is very exciting development for the UK that the practice is catching up with the evidence. Read more about the NICE guidelines

#2. Doula Legislation
It is very encouraging that two U.S. states, Minnesota and Oregon, have passed legislation to cover doulas under Medicaid. The recently New York Doula Report from Choices in Childbirth provides an overview of the medical evidence supporting the benefits of doula care, and goes on to say: “With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act comes an unprecedented opportunity to ensure that women receive quality, respectful maternity care throughout their pregnancy and childbirth experience. Doula Care in New York City: Advancing the Goals of the Affordable Care Act examines doula care within the “triple aim” framework to demonstrate how doula care can help to improve outcomes, reduce spending and improve the patient experience of care. The report also considers the powerful role that doulas can play in fostering greater patient engagement in health care decision-making and reducing disparities in health outcomes, additional goals outlined in the ACA.” Read more from my Awakening the Doula Spirit blog

#3. Disaster Relief Birth Workers Keep on Keeping on
This is not a new event for 2014- rather what is amazing is that they keep on keeping on for years and years! I am grateful for Ibu Robin Lim of Bumi Sehat and Vicki Penwell of Mercy in Action and other amazing individuals who are active as an IMBCI MotherBaby Network. I am grateful for their fortitude, resilience, and for all they do for women around the world. One example is that Vicki Penwell of Mercy in Action in the Philippines managed to fully implement the IMBCI 10 Steps in the disaster zone created by the typhoon in the Philippines, in a tent with no electricity and no running water! They treated 3616 patients in 65 days and attended 116 deliveries, along with delivering pre- and postnatal and breastfeeding treatment and education. If they could do that in a disaster zone, then clearly it can be done anywhere! Read more about these IMBCI Country Representatives (and consider becoming one!).

My Wish for 2015
My wish echoes all of the above, especially the recent changes in the UK and the work Robin Lim is doing- to offer women more choices in birth via more birth centers all around the world. Here is my trifecta of a wish for 2015, it is very simple… More Choices, More  Birth Centers, More Love!

Some Highlights from 2014

Your favorite Birth story & Photos: “Daira’s Orgasmic Beach Birth

Favorite post: “What is a Doula” Video

Favorite blogs: Orgasmic Birth’s “Seven Ways to Let Nature be Your Doula” & Debra’s “Awakening the Doula Spirit

Wishing you Peace &  Joy in the New Year!

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