Resources for Understanding and Navigating the U.S. Maternity Care System

Childbirth Connection's Pregnancy Topic on Understanding & Navigating the U.S. Maternity Care System

We provide in-depth coverage through our Pregnancy Topic to help you understand and navigate the maternity care system:
  • Why Maternity Quality Matters provides an overview of the problems in our maternity care system and how we can better measure and improve maternity care quality.
  • Needs of Healthy Childbearing Women summarizes the best approach to care of healthy women at low risk of complications.
  • Hormones Driving Labor and Birth gives an overview of the normal physiology of labor and birth and explains why maternity care practices should support and facilitate normal physiology whenever possible.
  • Cascade of Intervention explains how interventions in pregnancy, labor, and birth can lead to more interventions, increasing the complexity, risk, and cost of care.
  • Evidence-Based Maternity Care explains how research can guide practice to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies.
  • Informed Decision Making offers information about how to make good choices by considering the best available research, your own preferences and values, and your caregivers’ recommendations. The section also reviews your legal rights to informed consent and informed refusal.
  • 10 Ways You Can Get Good Maternity Care: These ten tips will give you the foundation you need to be a savvy consumer of high-quality care. Also available for download as a PDF and as a slideshow presentation.

Other Childbirth Connection Resources Relating to Understanding and Navigating the U.S. Maternity Care System

Resources from Other Organizations

HRSA MCH Phone List: List of toll-free phone numbers to access information about Medicaid eligibility and maternal and child health services available in each state

Center on Medical Record Rights and Privacy: State-by-state information about patients’ rights to medical records.

National Advocates for Pregnant Women: Legal information and advocacy for pregnant women facing discrimination or court-ordered treatments.

© 2016 Childbirth Connection. All rights reserved.

Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality of maternity care through research, education, advocacy and policy. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
Most recent page update: 6/22/2012