As Thanksgiving approaches this week, we want to give our own kind of "thanks" to the many organizations that work with and support women, men, persons, parents, babies, and families through pregnancy and birth. Through work, advocacy, information, and resources, these organizations improve the health, care, and well being of families. I encourage you to join us in saying "thank you" by learning more about these vital organizations, sharing their resources, and considering a donation or time or money toward their mission. (The following, of course, is not an exhaustive list of the many organizations that support families during the childbearing years.)
Mission: "Our mission is to improve the quality and value of maternity care through consumer engagement and health system transformation. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families."
How They Help: Provide information to parents to become an active participant in their maternity care; educate and inform maternal child health professionals on the most current, evidence-based information for healthy maternity care practices; collect data from families to learn about firsthand experiences with their care and childbirth and postpartum experiences.
Share/Learn: "Ten Tips for Taking Charge of Your Maternity Care"
Mission: A for-purpose organization who's mission is to inform, support, engage and empower consumers, community leaders and providers with the tools to improve birth. They believe that when people have the tools to inspire change, that they will take action.
How They Help: Provide resources and tools that help individuals and families heal from and take action after experiencing traumatic birth as a result of a broken healthcare system; bring together members of the community to work toward improving birth together; grassroots advocacy to improve maternity care.
Share/Learn: If you experienced traumatic birth and are in need of healing, even many months or years later, download this free step-by-step guide to healing from Improving Birth.
Mission: To improve maternal-child health by reducing preventable cesareans through education, supporting cesarean recovery, and advocating for vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).
How They Help: Provide information and community resources and support through local support groups/chapters; disseminate research and information; online support groups; help people become active advocates.
How You Can Help: Search ICAN’s Hospital VBAC Policy Database to find out if your local hospital has a ban on VBAC or not. Write your elected officials. Become an ICAN Volunteer. Unhappy with how you were treated while in the hospital? You might think you have no options but you do. Read ICAN’s primer on filing a Hospital Complaint about your maternity care. If your hospital has a VBAC Ban in place, the following information may help you navigate the situation: My Hospital Is Not Allowing VBAC. Become a member. Donate.
Share/Learn: Do you have questions about VBAC? Get the right answers from ICAN - a well respected resource organization on VBAC.
Mission: Educate, advocate and shape policy to help families make informed decisions about where, how, and with whom to birth and to increase access to childbirth services that support healthy birth outcomes.
How They Help: Educate mothers and advocate for healthy, affordable maternity care; provide information to parents to find mother-friendly providers, learn what you can really expect, and support every decision with solid, evidence-based research.
Mission: Promote awareness, prevention and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing in every country worldwide.
How They Help: Educating and training the professional community and the public by providing access to information, social support, and informed professional care to deal with mental health issues related to childbearing.
Share/Learn: 1 in 7 experience postpartum depression -- you are not alone if it's happening to you. And there is help! Get started by chatting with an expert from Postpartum Support International.