Shortly after discovering I was pregnant with my first child, I decided I wanted an unmedicated birth. I had hoped to use a midwife for my prenatal care, but that was not an option covered by my insurance, so I started asking around for doctors. But in this land of scheduled inductions and through-the-roof C-sections, I was hard-pressed to find a doctor who really supported my birth goals.
That's when a resource like The Birth Survey would have been invaluable.
The Birth Survey is part of the Transparency in Maternity Care project run by Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, a volunteer group dedicated to ensuring public access to quality-of-care information specifically related to maternity care providers and institutions. The survey is intended to extend transparency in health care into the maternity-care arena by providing information that will help women make fully informed maternity-care decisions.
The survey asks women who have given birth in the past three years to provide feedback about their birth experience with a particular doctor or midwife and within a specific birth environment. Responses are then made available online to other women in their community who are deciding where and with whom to birth. Paired with this experiential data is official statistics from state departments of health listing obstetrical intervention rates at the facility level.
The survey is a little lengthy--it took me nearly 40 minutes to complete--but I felt like it was my duty to fill it out if it helps other women out there.
If you'd like to participate, take the survey. You can also check out survey results or intervention rates in your area.