Thursday, May 15, 2008

Part 2

This is the Part 2 to my slight rant of earlier.

1. Solutions to a woman's fears: let's address the fear of pain and the fear of the unknown from an educational point of view. We also need to address the fact that the pain in childbirth is not like other types of pain, it is intermittant (with rest periods that allow the mother to work with her support team) and the pain also tells the mother where she is in labor (contrasting the duration and frequency of the contractions) AND that the pain in labor is also a signal that she needs to move to help the baby complete the cardinal movements. We, as health care professionals, need to write books - there are precious few new books written by childbirth educators, nurses, or doulas.

2. Freedom from pain: see #1 above PLUS we need to talk about our society's love affair with pain relief and pain medications. On any given night, count how many commercials have to do with this topic.

3. The Lure & The Guarantee: we are confronted with a society of women who really don't understand that the pain medications for labor DO affect the labor and DO affect the baby. The placenta is not selective and they are cause their babies harm. However, those who produce or administer these medications DON'T want the mothers to hear about that (re: the Cytotec controversy). Additionally, with the nursing shortage, it is easier for the overworked/underpaid L&D nurse to watch her 4 patients who are quiet with their epidurals on the monitors rather than scamper back and forth between rooms.

4. Consistency: the marketing campaign for natural childbirth and the impact of medications and interventions on the newborn must be consistent, frequent, branded, recognizable and in many different places at the same time.

5. Access to the media: obviously, there needs to be a core group of people devoted to organizing a media campaign that runs consistently and for a long duration.

6. Professionalism in marketing materials: 'nuff said.

7. Selectivity in research: a core group of research obtained from NIH or Cochrane Review would give the marketing team the "ammunition" it would need to mount a sizable and convincing campaign.

8. Multi-marketing: see #4, #5 and #6. And keep it circulating.

9. Follow-up: we also need to watch the statisticians such as the CDC and the Listening To Mothers Survey so we can determine if the marketing campaign is reaching the pretermined goals. And we need to have these mothers who have sampled natural childbirth speak out as testimonials ~ very much like the "Business of Being Born" and "Orgasmic Birth" movies.

10. Infighting: all too often women in the decision-making seats of major childbirth organizations lose site of the real passion, the real reason why they volunteered for the position. They need to rediscover the energy that got them into the position and put it into the work of helping women have a ligitimate choice of options. Become the 'sagefemmes' that you can be, and ignore the lure of power. Use the power...don't let it abuse you.

No comments: