Old News

Childbirth Connection has accomplished many goals and hit many milestones. Below you will find selected highlights from our past work to promote evidence-based maternity care.

carol sakala

The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition Interviews Director of Programs

Our director of programs, Carol Sakala, PhD, MSPH, was interviewed by the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition for her work in leading the analysis of over 300 studies comparing cesarean section and vaginal birth outcomes, the only one of its kind to date. The review was used to produce our educational booklet, What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know About Cesarean Section. HMHB was one of over 25 organizations to endorse the booklet from the onset. A recognized leader and resource in maternal and child health, HMHB reaches an estimated ten million health care professionals, parents and policymakers through its membership of over 100 local, state and national organizations.

Go to the interview carol sakala interview

What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know About Cesarean Section cesarean booklet

Other booklet endorsers cesarean booklet endorsers

NYAM cesarean brochureExecutive Director Spoke at The New York Academy of Medicine

On June 14, 2006, Childbirth Connection's Executive Director, Maureen Corry, was a speaker at The New York Academy of Medicine's conference, "Seeking the Perfect Baby through Cesarean Delivery: What's at Stake?" The conference addressed the medical, legal and ethical concerns in forced cesareans and cesareans on request.  Maureen shared new data on new mother's cesarean views and experiences from our national Listening to Mothers survey.

Learn more about our Listening to Mothers survey

Director of Programs Speaks at Bronx Perinatal Information Network

Childbirth Connection's Director of Programs, Carol Sakala, was the invited speaker at the 2006 annual forum of the Bronx Perinatal Information Network on May 31, 2006. She provided an update about cesarean section, focusing on results from two of Childbirth Connection's research projects: a systematic review to compare harms of cesarean and vaginal birth and the second national Listening to Mothers survey. She also discussed the recent NIH State-of-the-Science Conference on cesarean section. Following the talk, the group developed a plan for community involvement and consumer education about this important maternity issue.

Go to the systematic review

Childbirth Connection Attended National Institutes of Health (NIH) Meeting

On March 27-29, 2006, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) held a state-of-the-science conference entitled "Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request." At the end of the meeting, a multi-disciplinary panel issued a statement, also called "Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request," about results presented and discussed at the conference. Childbirth Connection leaders have been following this process since the planning stage of the report. Childbirth Connection's Executive Director Maureen P. Corry and Director of Programs Carol Sakala, as well as board members Dee Jeffers, Deanne Williams and Linda Mayberry, attended the recent NIH meeting in Bethesda, MD.

Learn more on our special Alert on interpreting formal and media reports here

Childbirth Connection Provides Content for a Continuing Medical Education Program

In the Fall of 2005, Medscape, a leading provider of continuing medical education (CME), posted a new CME program on its website. This program, "Complications of Cesarean Deliveries," by Peter Bernstein, MD, is based on Childbirth Connection's 2004 systematic review. This is the first time that our work has been featured as a CME program and gives us the potential to reach many thousands of physicians and other health professionals worldwide with the best scientific information to practice safe and effective care and provide women with the information they need for truly informed consent or refusal.

NYC Public Advocate's Press Conference Questions NY Private/Public Hospitals

Maureen Corry of Childbirth Connection, (left) pictured with
NYC Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum.
In front of Lenox Hill Hospital on a rainy July 13th, 2005, New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum held a press conference to release a report denouncing the failure of 43 out of the 44 New York City public and private hospitals to provide legally mandated information about rates of maternity interventions upon request, as required by the Maternity Information Act. Ms. Gotbaum questioned the rising cesarean rate in New York City, asking "What are [New York City Hospitals] trying to hide?"

The report titled A Mother's Right to Know, highlighted the disregard of the Maternity Information Act and called specific attention to the rising cesarean rate. None of the New York City hospitals could provide representatives of the Public Advocate with any maternity data, except one, which dated back to 1998.

In addition to the Public Advocate, Maureen Corry, Executive Director of Childbirth Connection (then known as Maternity Center Association), shared findings on our analysis of over 300 studies comparing the risks of cesarean section versus vaginal birth as published in our booklet, What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know About Cesarean Section. Also presenting was Elan McAllister of Choices in Childbirth, whose efforts to gain access to public records of hospital maternity intervention rates grabbed the attention of the Public Advocate.

Also in attendance was Doris Haire, author of the Maternity Information Act, which was enacted into law in New York State in 1989, as well as in Massachusetts. The Maternity Information Act requires that statistics on medical interventions during labor and delivery be made available in leaflet format to the public with information relative to the hospitals they are considering for the birth of their babies. Included in the measured rates are the frequency with which cesarean section, induction of labor, episiotomy, and other procedures are preformed.

Ms. Gotbaum zeroed in on the "alarmingly high" c-section rates across the country and in New York City, stating: "This is unacceptable. We've got hospitals all over the city that are delivering a third of their babies by c-section." She also declared: "It is critical that expectant parents have access to all data relating to c-sections."

"The best evidence is clear: unless there's a compelling and well-supported reason for cesarean section, vaginal birth is the safest way for women to give birth and babies to be born," said Ms. Corry. See more comments made on behalf of Childbirth Connection in a 7/13/05 New York Times article on the rising rate of c-sections in New York City and the rest of the country.

Go to the website of the Public Advocate of the City of New York

More on the Maternity Information Act

Go to Choices in Childbirth choices in childbirth

More on Doris Haire doris haire bio

Download Choices in Childbirth's A Mother's Right to Know (PDF)

Download the Public Advocate's "New York City Hospital Maternity Information"

Go to What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know About Cesarean Section what every pregnant woman needs to know about cesarean section

Get Maureen Corry's remarks maureen corry's remarks

Get Elan McAllister's remarks elan mcallister's remarks

Get recent Massachusetts maternity statistics massachusetts maternity statics

Doulas of North America Grants 2003 Research Award

Doulas of North America (DONA) presented Childbirth Connection (then known as Maternity Center Association) with its first John Kennell and Marshall Klaus Doula Spirit Award for Research at DONA's annual meeting in July, 2003. The award recognizes Childbirth Connection's historic Listening to Mothers survey, which enables a new level of understanding about many dimensions of the maternity experience in the United States.

Listening to Mothers was the first survey of women's childbearing experiences at the national level in the U.S. Childbirth Connection conducted this survey in 2002 with the assistance of Harris Interactive. The survey was carried out with the guidance of the Listening to Mothers National Advisory Council, which included representatives from leading national organizations involved with maternal and child health. Professor Eugene Declercq chaired this Council and was the lead author of the survey report. The survey is a part of Childbirth Connection's ongoing Listening to Mothers Initiative, which helps ensure that women's needs and experiences are used to shape maternity policies, programs and services.

Go to the Listening to Mothers survey listening to mothers survey

More on our Listening to Mothers Initiative listening to mothers initiative

Lamaze International Grants 2001 Research Award

Lamaze International presented Childbirth Connection (then known as Maternity Center Association) with its Research Award at the childbirth education group's annual meeting in October, 2001. The award recognizes Childbirth Connection's Maternity Wise, which helps ensure that maternity care decisions are informed by the best available research.

Presenters made special note of Childbirth Connection's labor pain initiative. In May, 2001, Childbirth Connection held "The Nature and Management of Labor Pain: An Evidence-based Symposium." Those present at this multi-disciplinary invitational meeting heard and discussed rigorous reviews of the best available research about labor pain, including benefits and risks of various methods for labor pain relief. Several Lamaze leaders who attended the symposium featured data and issues from the symposium in educational sessions at the Lamaze meeting and encouraged childbirth educators to consider the symposium papers as a core childbirth education resource. The peer-reviewed papers were published as a special supplement to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in May, 2002.

Since 1960, Lamaze has educated and certified over 11,000 childbirth educators, who have in turn supported millions of childbearing families.

Learn more our labor pain initiative here labor pain initiative

Go to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology american journal of obstetrics and gynecology

New Edition of Your Guide to Safe and Effective Care During Labor and Birth Issued

An updated edition of A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth, was published in 2000 (third edition, Oxford University Press). As soon as this leading manual on evidence-based maternity care became available, Childbirth Connection (then known as Maternity Center Associaion) used the book's state-of-the-science conclusions to update Childbirth Connection's own publication, Your Guide to Safe and Effective Care During Labor and Birth. This publication provides an introduction to the concept of "evidence-based maternity care" and helps childbearing women learn about the safety and effectiveness of practices that are commonly used with healthy, low-risk women during labor and birth.

Buy Your Guide to Safe and Effective Care During Labor and Birth buy your guide to safe and effective care during labor and birth

Maternity Wise Website Launches

In May, 2001, Childbirth Connection (then known as Maternity Center Association) unveiled the Maternity Wise website to help women learn about safe and effective maternity care and make informed maternity care decisions.  The site is a core element of Childbirth Connection's long-term national program to promote evidence-based maternity care.

More about our evidence-based program evidence-based program

Pain Symposium

In May 2001, Childbirth Connection (then known as Maternity Center Association) and The New York Academy of Medicine jointly sponsored an invitational meeting, "The Nature and Management of Labor Pain: An Evidence-based Symposium." The symposium is the first core activity in Childbirth Connection's long-term project to promote the use of safe and effective pain relief methods during labor.

Learn more about the "The Nature and Management of Labor Pain: An Evidence-based Symposium" here nature and management of labor pain

Jacquelyn Griggs Receives Hazel Corbin Grant 2000

Childbirth Connection (then known as Maternity Center Association) gives its annual Hazel Corbin Grant to a midwifery student in honor of the woman who served as General Director of Childbirth Connection, when it was known as Maternity Center Association, for 42 years. When Childbirth Connection's Maternity Wise program was started in 1999, the award was refocused to support a midwifery student's research project in the area of evidence-based midwifery care. Although the results of outcome studies of midwifery care are impressive, the safety and effectiveness of many elements of midwifery care have not been adequately evaluated. Improved understanding of the effects of specific midwifery practices will contribute to the quality of midwifery care and provide useful knowledge for other providers of maternity care.

Childbirth Connection is pleased to announce that Jacquelyn Griggs is the first winner of this refocused award. Ms. Griggs is enrolled in the midwifery education program at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She is conducting a randomized controlled trial to consider whether maternal positioning rotates babies in the "occiput posterior" position. This simple intervention has the potential to increase women's comfort (reduce "back labor") and satisfaction, shorten labor, and reduce the need for such interventions as vacuum extraction and cesarean section.

Learn more about the Hazel Corbin Grant here hazel corbin grant

Maternity Wise Introduced to Public Health Professionals

In November 2000, Childbirth Connection staff (then known as Maternity Center Association) introduced the public health community to the organization's new program to promote evidence-based maternity care at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA). Many visitors picked up complimentary public education materials and talked with Childbirth Connection staff at the new Maternity Wise booth in the exhibits hall. Executive director Maureen Corry and director of programs Carol Sakala presented four papers in a scientific session about evidence-based maternity care. Childbirth Connection also co-sponsored a participatory workshop on this topic with the APHA Maternal and Child Health Section. Childbirth Connection plans similar outreach at meetings of other health professionals in the future.

© 2016 Childbirth Connection. All rights reserved.

Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality of maternity care through research, education, advocacy and policy. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
Most recent page update: 12/13/2006