Resources for Understanding and Navigating the U.S. Maternity Care System

Childbirth Connection's Pregnancy Topic on Understanding & Navigating the U.S. Maternity Care System

We provide in-depth coverage through our Pregnancy Topic to help you understand and navigate the maternity care system:
  • Why Maternity Quality Matters provides an overview of the problems in our maternity care system and how we can better measure and improve maternity care quality.
  • Needs of Healthy Childbearing Women summarizes the best approach to care of healthy women at low risk of complications.
  • Hormones Driving Labor and Birth gives an overview of the normal physiology of labor and birth and explains why maternity care practices should support and facilitate normal physiology whenever possible.
  • Cascade of Intervention explains how interventions in pregnancy, labor, and birth can lead to more interventions, increasing the complexity, risk, and cost of care.
  • Evidence-Based Maternity Care explains how research can guide practice to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies.
  • Informed Decision Making offers information about how to make good choices by considering the best available research, your own preferences and values, and your caregivers’ recommendations. The section also reviews your legal rights to informed consent and informed refusal.
  • 10 Ways You Can Get Good Maternity Care: These ten tips will give you the foundation you need to be a savvy consumer of high-quality care. Also available for download as a PDF and as a slideshow presentation.

Other Childbirth Connection Resources Relating to Understanding and Navigating the U.S. Maternity Care System

Resources from Other Organizations

HRSA MCH Phone List: List of toll-free phone numbers to access information about Medicaid eligibility and maternal and child health services available in each state

Center on Medical Record Rights and Privacy: State-by-state information about patients’ rights to medical records.

National Advocates for Pregnant Women: Legal information and advocacy for pregnant women facing discrimination or court-ordered treatments.
Most recent page update: 6/22/2012

© 2016 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.
News and Features
Featured Resource

Check out our resource, "Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing: Evidence and Implications for Women, Babies, and Maternity Care"
Read more

Special Announcement

Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families.
Read more

Our Vision

We want all women and babies receive the best possible maternity care.
Play video

Get Involved

Read our 2020 Vision, Blueprint for Action, blog and more
Sign up for email updates
Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Support us