BIRTHNETWORK NATIONAL'S GUIDE TO LOCAL ADVOCACY - BECOME A BIRTH ACTIVIST

Attend BirthNetwork National Chapter Meetings.
Monthly chapter meetings offer consumers as well as birth professionals the opportunity to network with a variety of people and learn about topics related to pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and breastfeeding as well as a host of advocacy and family-related issues. If there is no chapter in your area, consider starting one!

Meetings are free and encourage mother-to-mother support and the ability to make informed choices for safe and satisfying childbirth. 

Learn the Principles of Mother-Friendly Care. 
Established in 1996, the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) is a collaborative effort of numerous individuals and more than 50 organizations representing over 90,000 members. Their mission is to promote a wellness model of maternity care that will improve birth outcomes and substantially reduce costs. 
CIMS is the author of the evidence-based Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI), which provides guidelines for identifying and designating “mother-friendly” birth sites including hospitals, birth centers and home-birth services. The initiative outlines ten steps for Mother-Friendly care. A consumer version of the Initiative, "Having a Baby? Ten Questions to Ask" is also available as a free download
Insist on evidence-based maternity care from your physician or midwife for your pregnancy, labor and birth. 
What is Evidence-based Maternity Care? 
According to Childbirth Connection, "evidence-based maternity care” means using the best research about the safety and effectiveness of specific tests, treatments, and other interventions to help guide maternity care decisions. 

Learn More About Evidence-Based Maternity Care: 
Childbirth Connection offers resources on Evidence-based Maternity Care, Informed Decision Making, Informed Consent and Informed Refusal. This comprehensive site offers articles on evidence-based care on a variety of topics. 
Childbirth Connection also offers a full-text version of the 3rd edition of A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth, which is an overview of results of the best available research about the effects of specific maternity practices. The book brings together the concerted work of a large international network of researchers, administrators, and consumers (Authors: M. Enkin, M.J.N.C. Keirse, J. Nielson, C. Crowther, L. Duley, E. Hodnett, and J. Hofmeyr, Oxford University Press, 2000). 

Childbirth Connection developed the First National U.S. Survey of Women's Childbearing Experiences called
Listening to Mothers, a survey to better understand women's maternity experiences and ways to improve these experiences. This historic survey is the first time that women in the U.S. have been systematically polled at the national level about their maternity experiences. The survey focuses the discussion of maternity care in the U.S. on the people who care about it most: mothers themselves. 

Consortium for the Evidence-Based Practice of Obstetrics (CEO) 
CEO provides information on evidence-based birth care for healthy women with normal pregnancies and protecting the ethical and constitutional rights of competent adult women to have control over the manner and circumstances of pregnancy and normal birth. 

Informed ChoiceundefinedProviding Evidence-Based Information for Consumers and Professionals (MIDIRS) 
A comprehensive set of 21 Informed Choice leaflets examines key decisions facing expectant mothers during pregnancy, labor and afterwards in assisting them to make informed choices. 

MIDIRS (Midwives Information and Resource Service) is an educational charity that began in 1985. This comprehensive website is a wealth of information relating to childbirth for midwives and others, both nationally and internationally, thereby assisting them to improve maternity care. 

MIDIRS Midwifery Digest provides maternity health professionals with an overview of key midwifery and medical research to inform their practice. The information is gathered from over 550 international journals and original articles commissioned on the hot topics being discussed by the midwifery profession. 

MIDIRS Enquiry Service provides access to more in-depth information and topics of interest. The information is drawn from a database of over 100,000 articles. Some 1,000 new references are added each month to this valuable resource. 

The Cochrane Collection: Cochrane Library (2006) Pregnancy and Childbirth 
The Cochrane Collaboration is an international non-profit and independent organization, dedicated to making up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of healthcare readily available worldwide. It produces and disseminates systematic reviews of healthcare interventions and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials and other studies of interventions. 

The World Health Organization's (WHO) Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum and Newborn Care: A Guide for Essential Practice
The guide provides a full range of updated, evidence-based norms and standards that will enable health care providers to give high quality care during pregnancy, delivery and in the postpartum period, considering the needs of the mother and her newborn baby. 
PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine 
There are over 15 million citations for medical articles dating back to the 1950s. These citations are from MEDLINE and additional life science journals. PubMed includes links to many sites providing full text articles and other related sources. 

Healthy Pregnancy–The National Women’s Information Center 
(A project of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health) 
The National Women’s Health Information Center (NWHIC) is a service of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health. The NWHIC provides a gateway to the vast array of Federal and other women’s health information resources. There is a wide variety of women’s health-related material developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, other Federal agencies, and private sector resources. 

Lamaze International Position Paper "Promoting, Protecting and Supporting Normal Birth" 
The mission of Lamaze International is to promote, support and protect normal birth through education and advocacy. 

Online Medical, Nursing and Midwifery Journals 
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