Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Why Birth Professionals Should Have A Global Focus

Many of us live in our little bubble.  Our community.  Our hospital.  Our birth center. Our job. We enjoy the comfort of same: the same routine, the same curricula, the same classes.  It gives us security psychologically.  It makes it easy to complete the work.

When we step out of our bubble and experience the often unpleasant facts about birth in other locations, especially in other countries, it disrupts the comfort and security.  Thinking about conditions in other countries challenges our way of thinking in so many ways.  For example, in

Scandinavian countries, homebirth with midwives is much more routine than in the United
States.  And therefore, their maternal morbidity/mortality and infant morbidity/mortality rates are significantly better than the United States.  Conversely, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 800 women and 8200 newborns die daily from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.

The Healthy Compassionate Birthing Project is in place world-wide to reduce the number of maternal and infant deaths. Within the project are four initiatives that strive on a large scale to seek these results.

One Heart World-Wide - Nepal; provides technical assistance to projects in Ecuador, Peru and Mexico.  You can learn more at www.oneheartworld-wide.org.

Yayasan Bumi Sehat - Bali and Aceh, Indonesia, the Philippines.  This is the projected headed by CNN 2011 Hero of the Year, Robin Lim. These two clinics have seen well over 5000 babies born, and Lim and her midwives continue to make a difference in the lives of those that are underserved in these countries and in tragedy. www.bumisehatbali.org

Mother Health International - currently in North Uganda, training midwives in Haiti, and advising Guinea.  www.motherhealth.org 

Casa-Mexico - is involved in training midwives globally.  www.empowercasa.org

It is clear that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that address infant mortality and improve maternal health were not met, although maternal/infant mortality did fall.  For the US, unless we see that the interventionist way of childbirth that we've been practicing for decades is not working and does not help us reach the Health People 2020 goals, our maternal morbidity/mortality and infant morbidity/mortality rates will continue to be lower than many industrialized countries.

When we know childbirth from a global perspective, we can bring that philosophy to our own community to educate, advocate and reform maternity care.

To Learn More:

World Health Organization Global Health Facts

WHO Report on Unnecessary Cesareans

The US Government and Global Maternal and Child Health

Healthy People 2020 Maternal/Infant Goals

Birth By the Numbers - facts, videos, teaching tools

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