Transforming Maternity Care Project


What is the Transforming Maternity Care Project?

Transforming Maternity Care is Childbirth Connection's ongoing project to improve the care that is provided to childbearing women and newborns by improving the systems in which care is delivered. Despite the dedication of many hard-working maternity professionals, many mothers and babies are not receiving the best care. Some procedures are overused, and other beneficial practices are not used enough. Trends in the U.S. have been going in the wrong direction for many indicators, and other countries that spend far less have better maternal and newborn outcomes.

Many system-level factors contribute to these disappointing results. For example, payment systems encourage high rates of some procedures — such as cesarean section — in this largely healthy population, but rarely pay for some types of beneficial care — such as help with smoking cessation, doula services and breastfeeding support programs. Some basic skills — e.g., attending vaginal breech births — are being lost because trainees do not have a chance to learn them. Pregnant women are choosing labor induction for convenience because they do not have information about downsides, for example, that every week counts in the health of their babies and also that induction can greatly increase the likelihood of cesarean section in some situations.

The Transforming Maternity Care project has engaged stakeholders from across the health system to develop a consensus about the kind of maternity care mothers and babies need and to identify priority steps for getting there. These are outlined in two pathbreaking reports released in January 2010: Many individuals and organizations are now working to carry out the Blueprint's priority recommendations. Health professionals, hospitals, insurers, women and families, and other stakeholders can all make important, and needed, contributions.

To learn more about this project and become involved, go to the Transforming Maternity Care section of this website.

Most recent page update: 1/26/2010

© 2016 National Partnership for Women & Families. All rights reserved.

Founded in 1918, Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Together, these two women's health powerhouses are transforming maternity care in the United States.
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Check out our resource, "Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing: Evidence and Implications for Women, Babies, and Maternity Care"
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Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families.
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