How Do You “Push for Better”?

Research continues to show that birth outcomes and experiences relate to your choice of care provider and place of birth. For example, if your hospital has a higher rate of cesarean (over 15%), your chance of having a cesarean birth increases. With that knowledge, last year Lamaze International launched the “Push for Your Baby” campaign which aims to provide expectant parents with the support and information needed to push for the safest, healthiest birth possible.

Like any other kind of health care, maternity care isn’t perfect. You can help your baby and you get the best care by being an active partner in your care. Your health care provider – doctor or midwife – has important knowledge and skills, but they don’t always know everything about you or what is best for you and your baby. They need you to speak up about your concerns and needs early so you can get the care you’re looking for throughout pregnancy, labor and birth.

Why does your voice matter? A lot of the regular care that pregnant women receive includes unnecessary interventions that don’t always help and can sometimes even cause harm. Routine care isn’t designed for you and your baby’s unique needs.

So when you’re told that you can’t eat or drink in labor, that you should stay confined to bed to stay attached to the monitor, or that your labor should be artificially started because you’re a few days “overdue,” it’s fair to question and discuss these practices with your health care provider.

Remember that getting the care that matches your and your baby’s needs may mean saying, “I’d like to consider another option.” Asking questions and providing information builds trust, and it’s the best way to make sure everyone is working toward the same goal – the safest, healthiest birth possible.

 

We want to know: how have you pushed for better care with your providers? Tell us your story in the comments!

Push for Better!

Be an active partner with your care provider, and get the best care.

Oh the joys of pregnancy… you’ve battled nausea, your back hurts, you’re not sleeping, and you’re running to the bathroom every 20 minutes. Still, you’re absolutely 100 percent devoted to having the absolute best of everything for your baby. You’ve researched the safest car seats, highest-quality strollers, best cribs and smartest baby monitors. You and your baby are all set, right?

There’s one thing that’s important not to leave off your “smart shopper” checklist; your baby’s birth day!

Like any other kind of health care, maternity care isn’t perfect. You can help your baby and you get the best care by being an active partner in your care. Your health care provider – doctor or midwife – has important knowledge and skills, but they don’t always know everything about you or what is best for you and your baby. They need you to speak up about your concerns and needs early so you can get the care you’re looking for throughout pregnancy, labor and birth.

Why does your voice matter? A lot of the regular care that pregnant women receive includes unnecessary interventions that don’t always help and can sometimes even cause harm. Routine care isn’t designed for you and your baby’s unique needs.

So when you’re told that you can’t eat or drink in labor, that you should stay confined to bed to stay attached to the monitor, or that your labor should beartificially started because you’re a few days “overdue” it’s fair to question and discuss these practices with your health care provider.

Remember that getting the care that matches your and your baby’s needs may mean saying, “I’d like to consider another option.” Asking questions and providing information builds trust, and it’s the best way to make sure everyone is working toward the same goal – the safest, healthiest birth possible.

 

The Lamaze “Push for Your Baby” campaign encourages women to advocate for better care for their babies and themselves. With the right information and education, women have the opportunity to be active partners in their care during pregnancy and birth. This campaign is designed to help women be ‘savvy shoppers’ and prepared to seek out the best care for their babies and themselves. Watch the video to find out what moms and dads have learned about pushing for the best care

Spot the Best Care

Knowing how to spot good maternity care is the key to getting it.

There are countless places on the Internet with information about being pregnant – this is probably not the first website you’ve visited! With so much information about pregnancy and birth available, how do you separate fact from fiction?

Lamaze International has simplified the scientific facts into six healthy birth practices to make it easy for you to choose the safest care, understand your options, and steer clear of care practices or unnecessary interventions that may not be the best for you and your baby.

  • Let Labor Begin on Its Own: The research around induction of labor has become so convincing that many hospitals are clamping down on inductions that don’t have a strong, compelling medical reason. But not everyone has caught up with the research yet. Be wary of induction that’s suggested because your baby is “measuring big,” you’re a few days past your due date, or your mom wants to schedule her travel. For the best chance at a healthy baby and healthy mom, it’s best to let your baby and your body tell you when it’s time.
  • Walk, Move Around and Change Positions Throughout Labor: In childbirth, gravity is your friend. It helps to move your baby down and makes it easier for your baby to fit and rotate. Movement is also a natural and active way to manage labor pain.
  • Bring a Loved One, Friend or Doula for Continuous Support: Doctors, midwives and nurses work hard to meet the needs of their patients. But few women find a care provider who will stay by their side throughout labor. A continuous support person, such as your partner or a doula, can help you feel safer and more comfortable, and help your labor progress.

  • Avoid Unnecessary InterventionsMany interventions may seem like they would make childbirth easier, but they can have unintended consequences and can make birth more difficult and less safe. Knowing the difference between something that’s medically necessary and something that’s done purely out of “routine” can help you feel equipped to partner with your care provider in making important decisions.
  • Avoid Giving Birth on Your Back, and Follow Your Body’s Urges to Push: The last birth you saw was probably a Hollywood portrayal of labor, with a woman giving birth on her back in a hospital bed. But, did you know that you don’t have to be on your back when you give birth and wait for your care provider to tell you when to push? During pushing, ease your baby down and out when and how your body tells you to and choose the positions for birth that are the most comfortable for you. By responding to what you are feeling, you will make birth easier and safer for you and your baby.
  • Keep Mother and Baby Together – It’s Best for Mother, Baby and Breastfeeding: During pregnancy, you and your little one were inseparable. Continuing that important connection after birth is best for you and your healthy baby. Skin-to-skin contact helps your healthy baby stay warm, cry less, and be more likely to breastfeed. In fact, interrupting, delaying, or limiting the time that you spend together may have a harmful effect on your relationship and on successful breastfeeding.

Last Chance: “Push” Blog Writing Contest & Giveaway

The Push for Your Baby blog writing contest and giveaway deadline is next Wednesday, August 15. Share your childbirth story to connect with other moms and earn a chance to win baby items!

Calling all moms, dads, and partners! You’ve been through the big day and now it’s your turn to tell expecting parents about what you’ve learned along the way. Share your childbirth story with us in a written or video blog and you could win a baby product from Lamaze and Tomy.com.

Our panel of judges will select three written and three video blogs to receive the following:

  • First Place: Lamaze car seat, provided by TOMY (approx. value $220.00)
  • Second Place: GC Brands Childrenswear Baby Wardrobe (approx. value $150)
  • Third Place: Selection of Lamaze baby toys and books, provided by TOMY(approx. value $100)

For your entry, take some time to reflect on your baby’s birth day and share your answers to these questions:

Push for Your Baby!

  • Why do you think it’s important for parents to push for the best care for mom and baby during labor and birth?

Childbirth education?

  • How did Lamaze childbirth education help you push for the safest, healthiest birth?
  • Did dad or your partner take childbirth education? How did it help support you on your baby’s birth day?
  • What’s the most important thing that you learned in Lamaze class that helped you push for the safest, healthiest birth possible for your baby?

Advice for other parents?

  • Based on your own experiences, what’s the one thing you would tell new, expecting parents about preparing for baby’s birth day?

How to Enter

Using the form here, submit your entry no later than Wednesday, August 15, 2012. We will announce the prize winners on August 1. All blogs* will be published on the Push for Your Baby Campaign website and the first place blogs will be posted to the home pages of Lamaze.org and PushforYourBaby.com, as well as on Giving Birth with Confidence and shared via Lamaze’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

*Before being posted on the website, each blog post will be reviewed for appropriate content. Blogs found to be insulting, profane or otherwise inappropriate will not be posted.

Entry Requirements

Video should be no longer than three minutes in length and posted on YouTube. Written entries should be no longer than 700 words. Our panel of judges will evaluate entries on narrative (as defined above), originality and creativity.

The Lamaze “Push for Your Baby” campaign encourages women to advocate for better care for their babies and themselves. With the right information and education, women have the opportunity to be active partners in their care during pregnancy and birth. This campaign is designed to help women be ‘savvy shoppers’ and prepared to seek out the best care for their babies and themselves.

“Push” Blog Writing Contest & Giveaway: Deadline Extended!

The Push for Your Baby blog writing contest and giveaway deadline has been extended! Share your childbirth story by August 15 and you could win some awesome baby items!

Calling all moms, dads, and partners! You’ve been through the big day and now it’s your turn to tell expecting parents about what you’ve learned along the way. Share your childbirth story with us in a written or video blog and you could win a baby product from Lamaze and Tomy.com.

Our panel of judges will select three written and three video blogs to receive the following:

  • First Place: Lamaze car seat, provided by TOMY (approx. value $220.00)
  • Second Place: GC Brands Childrenswear Baby Wardrobe (approx. value $150)
  • Third Place: Selection of Lamaze baby toys and books, provided by TOMY(approx. value $100)

For your entry, take some time to reflect on your baby’s birth day and share your answers to these questions:

Push for Your Baby!

  • Why do you think it’s important for parents to push for the best care for mom and baby during labor and birth?

Childbirth education?

  • How did Lamaze childbirth education help you push for the safest, healthiest birth?
  • Did dad or your partner take childbirth education? How did it help support you on your baby’s birth day?
  • What’s the most important thing that you learned in Lamaze class that helped you push for the safest, healthiest birth possible for your baby?

Advice for other parents?

  • Based on your own experiences, what’s the one thing you would tell new, expecting parents about preparing for baby’s birth day?

How to Enter

Using the form here, submit your entry no later than Wednesday, August 15, 2012. We will announce the prize winners on August 1. All blogs* will be published on the Push for Your Baby Campaign website and the first place blogs will be posted to the home pages of Lamaze.org and PushforYourBaby.com, as well as on Giving Birth with Confidence and shared via Lamaze’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

*Before being posted on the website, each blog post will be reviewed for appropriate content. Blogs found to be insulting, profane or otherwise inappropriate will not be posted.

Entry Requirements

Video should be no longer than three minutes in length and posted on YouTube. Written entries should be no longer than 700 words. Our panel of judges will evaluate entries on narrative (as defined above), originality and creativity.

The Lamaze “Push for Your Baby” campaign encourages women to advocate for better care for their babies and themselves. With the right information and education, women have the opportunity to be active partners in their care during pregnancy and birth. This campaign is designed to help women be ‘savvy shoppers’ and prepared to seek out the best care for their babies and themselves.

“Push” Blog-Writing Contest & Giveaway

As part of the Push for Your Baby campaign, Lamaze is hosting a “push story sharing” contest. Share your childbirth story and you could win some awesome baby items!

Calling all moms, dads, and partners! You’ve been through the big day and now it’s your turn to tell expecting parents about what you’ve learned along the way. Share your childbirth story with us in a written or video blog and you could win a baby product from Lamaze and Tomy.com.

Our panel of judges will select three written and three video blogs to receive the following:

  • First Place: Lamaze car seat, provided by TOMY (approx. value $220.00)
  • Second Place: GC Brands Childrenswear Baby Wardrobe (approx. value $150)
  • Third Place: Selection of Lamaze baby toys and books, provided by TOMY(approx. value $100)

For your entry, take some time to reflect on your baby’s birth day and share your answers to these questions:

Push for Your Baby!

  • Why do you think it’s important for parents to push for the best care for mom and baby during labor and birth?

Childbirth education?

  • How did Lamaze childbirth education help you push for the safest, healthiest birth?
  • Did dad or your partner take childbirth education? How did it help support you on your baby’s birth day?
  • What’s the most important thing that you learned in Lamaze class that helped you push for the safest, healthiest birth possible for your baby?

Advice for other parents?

  • Based on your own experiences, what’s the one thing you would tell new, expecting parents about preparing for baby’s birth day?

How to Enter

Using the form here, submit your entry no later than Saturday, June 30, 2012. We will announce the prize winners on August 1. All blogs* will be published on the Push for Your Baby Campaign website and the first place blogs will be posted to the home pages of Lamaze.org and PushforYourBaby.com, as well as on Giving Birth with Confidence and shared via Lamaze’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

*Before being posted on the website, each blog post will be reviewed for appropriate content. Blogs found to be insulting, profane or otherwise inappropriate will not be posted.

Entry Requirements

Video should be no longer than three minutes in length and posted on YouTube. Written entries should be no longer than 700 words. Our panel of judges will evaluate entries on narrative (as defined above), originality and creativity.

The Lamaze “Push for Your Baby” campaign encourages women to advocate for better care for their babies and themselves. With the right information and education, women have the opportunity to be active partners in their care during pregnancy and birth. This campaign is designed to help women be ‘savvy shoppers’ and prepared to seek out the best care for their babies and themselves.

Fathers Play a Key Role in a Safe and Healthy Birth

When it comes to childbirth, popular media often love to portray fathers as helpless and incompetent during labor and birth. When labor starts, the mother-to-be calmly manages her contractions as the dad sets into a panic, leaving behind the pre-packed bag, taking a wrong turn to the hospital, or running the halls searching for a nurse.

In reality, dads often play a critical role in supporting mothers during pregnancy and birth and advocating for safe care. As Father’s Day approaches, Lamaze International wants expectant dads to know that childbirth education goes a long way when it comes to learning how to be the most helpful, from the moment they find out they’re expecting through the first contraction and beyond.

Cherington Shucker and Darin Gehrke of New York welcomed their first child earlier this year and talked about their experience in Lamaze’s Push for Your Baby video, “Parents Push”: www.Lamaze.org/pushforyourbaby-video. Both agreed that Darin’s participation in childbirth education classes enabled him to take an active, positive role in the delivery of their child.

“To help ease the pain of childbirth, I was able to support Cherington in using various types of pain-relief techniques,” said Gehrke. “We knew in advance that there were many natural options to find greater comfort, and it was especially important for us to avoid any unneeded medical interventions that could lead us down the road to a cesarean birth.”

The importance of fathers advocating for the best care is underscored by persistent and growing gaps in the quality of care women and babies often receive. A recent report by Consumer Reports says, too often, unnecessary medical interventions are used in birth, increasing risks to mothers and babies.i For example, unnecessary cesarean births can come with unintended health consequences for mom and baby, including breathing problems for baby or complications in future pregnancies for mom. One recent study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood even suggests that babies born by cesarean may have about twice the risk of becoming obese as infants delivered vaginally.ii

Other interventions pose challenges to the health of moms and babies too, including early induction (performed before 39 weeks of pregnancy), epidurals and electronic fetal monitoring.

“Dads can play a key role early on in pregnancy to help mom and baby get the care that’s safest and healthiest,” said Lamaze President-elect Tara Owens Shuler, MEd, CD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, Director of Continuing Education, Special Projects, and Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program for the Duke AHEC Program. “He’s a very important advocate, and can provide emotional support for mom throughout labor and birth.”

Here are five tips to help dads prepare for and provide support through pregnancy, labor and birth:

1) Take a childbirth education class with your partner. The benefits of a good childbirth education class can often be overlooked. A class can help dads, and other support people, learn about the different options and interventions, and get the tools and knowledge to push for the best care during pregnancy, labor and birth. It can also spark the conversation between and among couples, so you can learn from one another and interact with other expectant parents in your shoes.

2) Work with mom to plan. Talk things through with one another and with your care provider. Chances are greater for a positive birth outcome if support begins early on in pregnancy. Discuss the different options for a safe and healthy birth, and map a pathway to get there. Labor and birth can be a dynamic process so it’s vital to work with mom to create Plan A, Plan B and Plan C.

3) Learn how to be an advocate for mom. Birth is an intense process, emotionally and physically. It’s important for dads to be informed and know how to advocate for her wishes. She may come under pressure from family members or healthcare providers and the father’s voice is important in pushing for the safest, healthiest care.

4) Find out about techniques to help minimize the pain. There are many natural ways, such as relaxation, to find greater comfort in childbirth and help labor progress. Every woman is unique and has her own ways of feeling safe, comfortable and relaxed. Whether she uses a hot shower or bath, hip squeezes and pressure points, or birth ball exercises, dads can help mom identify the pain-relief tools that are best suited for her individual needs.

5) Be prepared to welcome baby into the world (and help mom recover). Birth can be exhausting for both mom and baby, and dad can help to support both after birth. He can help mom by managing visitor times, rocking baby to sleep after feeding, and making sure mom is fed and gets enough rest.

Expectant dads can find out even more at www.PushForYourBaby.com.

Parents Share their Stories

As expectant parents, you are faced with so many important decisions. It’s comforting to know and hear from others who have been in your shoes tell their personal childbirth stories. As part of Lamaze Push for Your Baby campaign, we have created a video of personal stories from parents who share what they learned along the way and ways you can push for the best care!

 

 

Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Care Provider

The following resource is part of the Lamaze “Push for Your Baby” campaign, which aims to provide expectant women with the tools and resources they need to get the best care for their babies and themselves.

You may be wondering how to choose the best health care provider for the job. Finding the right person to care for you and your baby during pregnancy, labor and birth is one of the most important decisions you will make, and it can help you feel confident to push for the safest, healthiest birth. As you review doctors and midwives in your area, the following questions can help you find someone who will provide the care you are looking for. Asking questions and providing information builds trust, and it’s the best way to make sure everyone is working toward the same goal – the safest, healthiest birth possible for you and your baby.

  1. What is my role in helping to achieve a safe and healthy birth?
    This is an important question that will help you determine whether your care provider will be respectful of your choices and invite your input. By being an active and attentive participant in pregnancy, labor and birth, you can help achieve the best outcomes for you and your baby. Your health care provider – doctor or midwife – has important knowledge and skills, but they don’t always know everything about you or what is best for you and your baby. Find out how openly you can share your needs and work in partnership with your care provider to get the care that’s best for you.
  2. What standard routine practices should I expect in labor?
    This information will help you identify any practices that your care provider may see as needed or routine. While many interventions may seem like they would make childbirth easier, did you know that some of the care that pregnant women routinely receive can have unintended consequences and potentially make birth more difficult and less safe? Many practices in maternity care aren’t always necessary, including:

    • C-sections;
    • Electronic Fetal Monitoring;
    • Epidurals;
    • Episiotomy (surgically cutting the area between the vagina and the anus, called the “perineum,” in order to make the vaginal opening larger)
    • Induced labor;
    • Restricting women from eating and drinking freely;
    • Restricting movement;
    • Directed pushing; and,
    • Separating mom and baby.

    Get the most out of your conversation and be specific. Find out more here inChildbirth Challenges.

  3. How will you work with me as your patient to identify mine and my baby’s unique needs?
    You and your baby’s unique needs should be front and center throughout pregnancy, labor and birth. Like any other kind of health care, maternity care isn’t perfect. A lot of the regular care that pregnant women get includes interventions that don’t always help and can sometimes even cause harm. Ask your care provider about what’s negotiable and what’s not. Weigh the answers you get; they will give you good insight into whether you’ve found a good match. It’s important to work with your health care provider early on, because routine care isn’t always designed for you and your baby’s individuality. Remember that getting the care that matches your and your baby’s needs may mean saying, “I’d like to consider another option.”
  4. How do you feel about me bringing someone like a doula for one-on-one support?
    Many women count on having a nurse by their side to provide important support. But labor nurses may be caring for several women at the same time, and may not have the time to provide contraction by contraction support. Dads are often expected to fill this role, but many times they are new to the process too and need cues on how to best be supportive in labor. A continuous support partner, such as a doula, can help you navigate your labor, support good decision-making and help make sure you’re able to communicate your wishes to your health care provider. Keep in mind, some health care providers may not agree to the use of a continuous support partner, such as a doula. Be prepared to ask them “why?”
  5. What is your rate for C-sections? What are the main reasons you perform them? Is there anything you know about me and my baby that might suggest I would need a C-section?
    A health care provider’s C-section rate can tell you a lot. Cesarean surgery can save lives, but just like any other surgery, it carries risks for you and your baby. More and more babies are being delivered by cesarean, even when there’s not a good medical reason to do so. One of the best ways to reduce your chances of a C-section is to give birth in a location , and with a provider, that maintains low cesarean rates . There is no federal requirement for health care providers to report this information, so you need to ask your care provider directly for these details. If your health care provider has a high rate because they say they care for many “high risk” women, be sure to probe about what they consider to be “high risk.”
  6. Do you limit the length of labor? Or will you support continuing labor as long as my baby and I are doing OK?
    Certain care providers and birthplaces may be under pressure to speed up the birthing process, or put a time limit on your labor and birth. Labor is an intense process, at times overwhelming and draining. But, the good news is that your body is perfectly designed to birth your baby. It’s important for you to find out if your care provider will give your body and your baby time to move the process along, and let nature take its course . Childbirth education classes can help you identify various options to keep labor progressing.
  7. How often do you perform inductions? What are the main reasons you perform them? Is there anything you know about me and my baby that might suggest I would need an induction?
    Due dates aren’t an exact science. Even if you and your care provider feel sure about your date, every baby matures at a different rate. Inducing labor can mean your baby is born before he or she is ready. Labor should only be induced if it is more risky for your baby to remain inside than to be born. Studies have consistently shown your risk of having a C-section nearly doubles with induction with your first labor. It also increases your baby’s chance of being born premature. Your best chance of avoiding an induction is by finding a health care provider who uses them sparingly. Lamaze childbirth education classes can also give you many strategies to help labor start on its own.
  8. How will you monitor the baby’s heartbeat during labor?
    We all want to know our babies are doing OK. Using the same thinking, most care providers will monitor your baby’s every heartbeat during labor using electronic fetal monitoring, or EFM. However, EFM can mean you are confined to a bed and not able to use gravity and movement to advance the birthing process. Studies show that a baby’s heart rate can be monitored just as safely with a nurse, doctor or midwife regularly checking in to listen at key points in your labor with a Doppler hand-held monitor or something similar. Talk with your health care provider about whether they use intermittent listening so you can move freely, relax between contractions, and avoid the anxiety that comes with being tied to a machine. Ask whether the nurses on staff will use it too.
  9. Will I be able to move around during labor, or will I be confined to bed? In what position will I be giving birth?
    Contrary to Hollywood’s portrayal of labor, lying on your back in a hospital bed is not the only way to give birth! In fact, walking, moving around and changing positions throughout labor makes the birth of your baby easier. Movement is a natural and active way of responding to the pain of childbirth. When it comes time to push, staying off your back and pushing with your natural urges can be key to making it as easy as possible on you and your baby. Find out if your health care provider will encourage you to stay mobile.
  10. Will my baby be kept in the nursery or in my room?
    In many hospitals, it’s standard procedure to separate mom and baby for periods of time. However, research has shown that it’s best for mom and her healthy baby to stay together after birth. Skin-to-skin contact helps your healthy baby stay warm, cry less, and be more likely to breastfeed. In fact, interrupting, delaying or limiting the time that mom and baby spend together may have a harmful effect on their relationship and on successful breastfeeding. Talk to your care provider and ask if they support “rooming-in ,” which will maximize your time with your little one, as well as opportunities for breastfeeding.

Push for Your Baby

Have you ever felt scared or insecure when asking your doctor a question? Personally, there have been times when I felt like, “what if I ask a stupid question,” or “will she think I’m one of those know-it-all internet research junkies,” or “I don’t want to come across as too pushy.” As it turns out, women who feel this way aren’t alone. A recent study in Health Affairs highlights how patients, worried about being labeled “difficult,” can be reluctant to discuss or question a health care provider’s recommendation.[i] For pregnant women, the pressure to agree to certain practices from family and friends, as well as care providers, can be significant. In fact, a Childbirth Connection study showed that many mothers have felt pressured by a health care provider to have an induction (17 percent with induction) and C-section (24 percent with cesarean).[ii]

In recognition of this issue, Lamaze International has initiated the “Push for Your Baby” campaign, which  encourages women to advocate for better care for their babies and themselves. “With the right information and education, women have the opportunity to be active partners in their care during pregnancy and birth, not just recipients of that care,” said Lamaze President-elect Tara Owens Shuler, MEd, CD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, Director of Continuing Education, Special Projects, and Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program for the Duke AHEC Program. “This campaign is designed to help women be ‘savvy shoppers’ and prepared to seek out the best care for their babies and themselves.”

Through the Push for Your Baby campaign, Lamaze is working to provide expecting parents with the tools and resources they need to partner with their care providers to get that care, including:

    • PushforYourBaby.com – A website dedicated to expecting moms and dads that houses up-to-date information about childbirth challenges, ways to identify the best care, tips for pushing for better care, details about Lamaze education, and questions to ask their care provider.
    • Parents Push – With this shareable video, moms – and dads – share their personal childbirth experience, both the highs and lows, and underscore the importance of childbirth education to having the safest, healthiest birth possible. The video offers those expecting a little one a chance to hear directly from someone who has been in their shoes.
    • Push Story Sharing – Lamaze knows that some of the best learning happens through story telling. The Push for Your Baby campaign gives parents the opportunity to share both written and video birth stories highlighting the things they were glad they knew – or wish they had known – before labor and delivery, as well as the role that childbirth education played in their experience. Submissions will be shared on the campaign website and the top three entries in each category (written and video) will receive prizes from Lamaze, Tomy and GC Brands Childrenswear, and their photos and blogs posted to the home pages of Lamaze.org and PushForYourBaby.com.

“Its all about women getting the care that matches their unique needs, and not just having things happen to them. Sometimes that may mean saying, ‘I’d like to consider another option,’” said Shuler. “Women should know it’s OK to push for better. And knowing how to spot good maternity care is the key to getting it.”

“With clear challenges to getting high-quality maternity care, the value in being prepared and educated is more important than ever,” said Shuler. “Childbirth education may seem like a hassle to busy parents and Google might feel like a decent way to answer questions, but a good childbirth education class can help pregnant women sort through conflicting or inaccurate information, and give them the tools they need to get the care they want. Lamaze certified childbirth educators (LCCE) have a stake in the expecting parents we teach, and it’s our priority to help them achieve the safest, healthiest outcomes.”

In addition to Push for Your Baby, Lamaze recently launched a newly revamped website (www.lamaze.org) with a focus on expecting parents, and a separate site dedicated to supporting Lamaze educators (www.lamazeinternational.org). The new parents’ site features the Push for Your Baby campaign resources, a social media updates, a video library, tips for expecting parents and evidence-backed information about maternity care from pregnancy through birth.

 


[i] Frosch, D., et. al. Authoritarian Physicians And Patients’ Fear Of Being Labeled ‘Difficult’ Among Key Obstacles To Shared Decision Making. Health Affairs. May 2012. Available online: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/31/5/1030.abstract.

[ii] “Listening to Mothers II Report.” Childbirth Connection. 2006. Available online: http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10396. Accessed 4/16/2012.