Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Five Ways Childbirth Professionals Can "lean in"

Sometime, childbirth professionals  need a kick in the pants.

That may sound a little harsh, yet there is a growing apathy in the profession.  Using Sheryl Sandberg’s now famous phrase, childbirth professionals should “lean in” – be more assertive in their work of education and caring for birthing women.  We should not let biases or “the way we’ve always done it” keep us from moving forward to the best practice care birthing women can have!

If childbirth professionals did “lean in”, who would benefit?

  • All professionals would benefit from the domino effect of it all.  When the snowball begins
    rolling, and more professionals see the benefit in their own community, the snowball begins to roll downhill, gain momentum and the movement gets bigger!
  • Other health care professionals who care for birthing women would benefit also.  By seeing the enthusiasm and eagerness to give best practice care, other professionals would also get excited and join the rolling snowball.
  • Birthing women would definitely benefit.   With the unnecessary maternal/infant morbidity/mortality rates in the US alone, a change in practice would mean a change in our societal health and well-being.

But how can the lone educator in a community “lean in”?  How can one person make a difference?

Here are five ways you can begin today to “lean in”!

  1. Make a personal and professional decision to be a strong advocate for women and babies. Identify ways in your community you can make a difference. (Change certain pieces of the way you practice? Hold birth film showings and invite professionals and expectant parents? Conduct informational sessions at book stores or BabiesRUS?)
  2. Expand your reach.  Use social media to post more evidence-based news articles and links.  Make your Facebook or Twitter the “go to” place for learning.  Are you on Instagram?  Create memes to post there by using memegenerator.net or create your own with PowerPoint!
  3. Start a blog.  Showcase different aspects of maternity care where we are not practicing evidence based care.  Provide links for additional learning.  Invite others to be guest bloggers!  Reach out to those professionals that you admire and ask them to guest blog.  You might find they are very willing to share a post or two.
  4. Feeling isolated?  Search out a workshop, conference or meeting that is geographically close to you.  There is tremendous energy and strength in numbers.  Brainstorming with colleagues can be a great problem-solving tool and along with social media, reduce the feeling of isolation when you return home. (For a list of upcoming conferences, click here)
  5. Pick up the phone.  In today's world, the first line of communication we often think of is email or Facebook.  But you really cannot brainstorm or strategize with email.  Call a colleague and have a conversation about the difficulties you are having and how, together, you might solve those problems.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, 
"Be the change you wish to see in the world"!

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