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
- Choosing a Caregiver and a Choosing a Birth Setting provide information, tools, and resources for making these crucial decisions.
- Our in-depth Pregnancy Topics provide information, tools, and resources for making decisions about induction of labor, labor support, labor pain, cesarean section, vaginal birth after cesarean, and protecting your pelvic floor.
- Evidence Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve is an in-depth report highlighting best evidence that, if widely implemented, would have a positive impact on many mothers and babies. The report also identifies barriers to providing evidence-based maternity care, and presents policy recommendations to address the barriers.
- Transforming Maternity Care provides information and resources to drive quality improvement and maternity care system reform. The Data Center includes links to hospital rates of labor induction, cesarean section, and other procedures and outcomes for the states where that data is available, as well as information about the costs of maternity care in the United States.
- U.S. Health Care Reform Legislation Offers Major New Benefits to Childbearing Women and Newborns (PDF) is an article summarizing the provisions in the 2010 health care reform law that affect maternity care.
Resources from Other OrganizationsHRSA 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
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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.
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