New Report Underscores Urgent Need to Revamp Maternity Care, Points Way
Childbirth Connection, the Reforming States Group (a bipartisan group of health policy leaders from all 50 states) and Milbank Memorial Fund (a prominent health care foundation) recently released a major report -- Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve. It makes clear the case that women fail to receive the type and quality of maternity care that is best for them, despite the fact that top dollar is paid for it and ample evidence exists in support of better care.
While dedicated health professionals practice with good intentions, the U.S. maternity care system is plagued with problems. Many women and babies receive lesser quality maternity care that includes unnecessary procedures, drugs and tests — "overuse," and that fails to include beneficial forms of care — "underuse." The report puts a spotlight on the factors and market influences contributing to what's been called the “Perinatal Paradox: doing more and accomplishing less" (Rosenblatt 1989). In fact, while the U.S. spends much more on health care, it lags behind other developed nations on quality indicators including low birthweight and maternal mortality.
As the most comprehensive study to date of how maternity care is delivered and financed, Evidence-Based Maternity Care highlights examples of how care provided to mothers exposes them to avoidable harm and expense. The good news is that the report points the way to improved care, better health and use of resources. It includes an examination of underused childbirth methods such as continuous labor support, barriers to providing evidence-based maternity care and policy recommendations for overcoming them.
Among the media coverage the report has received is an overview in USA Today – Maternity-care failings can be remedied with cost-saving fixes. And Consumer Reports features it on their website along with a useful quiz about maternity care – Back to basics for safer childbirth.
Request a free copy from Milbank Memorial Fund, or download Evidence-Based Maternity Care and share it with others. Together, we can improve the health of moms and babies.
Wishing you the best,
Most recent page update: 12/18/2013
© 2014 National Partnership for Women & Families. All rights reserved.
Founded in 1918, Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Together, these two women's health powerhouses are transforming maternity care in the United States.