I spend a good deal of my time writing about issues related to birth and maternal health. In fact, once of my long term gigs is writing for Expect With Me – an evidence-based group prenatal care program that looks to reduce birth complications like early birth, low birth weight, NICU stays, etc… I am immersed daily into the world of pregnancy and birth, despite my own son’s birth occurring over 7 years ago (and with NO plans for another), and am continuously fascinated with the way that we – as a society – thinks about/talks about/plans for/experiences birth.
And so, it makes perfect sense that book #2 will be one where I delve deep into the world of birth experiences in the US. I’m curious about the way we plan for birth and the realities of the lived experiences. I’m also curious about the disconnect that currently exists when it comes to the U.S. birth industry and how it impacts plans and choices surrounding birth. For instance, the U.S. has the costliest maternal health care in the world, yet ranks 60/180 when it comes to maternal mortality rates (In fact, we’re one of just eight countries to see our maternal death rates go up in the last ten years!).
You can read more about the impetus behind this next book over at The Huffington Post, but for now – I’m asking for folk’s help. Because I’m so interested in how we talk/experience birth, I created a birth experiences questionnaire with my partner Deborah Wage. We have so far collected over a thousand responses from folks who have given birth in the US since 2005 – but we’re looking for more! It’s a quick survey that asks about your expectations, your experiences, and your thoughts on your birth(s), and I hope you consider taking it. The questionnaire will be available for another couple of weeks.
We will also be creating a survey for birth providers, as well as birth partners, so keep an eye out for those! So… read up on why I am focusing on birth this go around, take the survey if it applies to you, and please – SHARE! We’re doing our best to get a diverse response to better understand birth from all communities, and all help in spreading the word is much appreciated.