Our Mission

Our Mission is to Inform, Support, Engage and Empower Consumers,Community Leaders and Providers with Powerful Tools to Improve Birth.

Our Vision

We envision a world where birth is safe for all. That all pregnant people feel supported and receive evidence based, respectful, humane care during childbirth.

When I say I do not like war, it does not mean I dislike soldiers. When I critique the current state of our education system, it does not mean I dislike teachers/educators. When I am critical of the U.S. maternity care system, it does not mean I dislike nurses/providers/hospitals.

Without critique there will be no change.

– Amanda Hardy, PhD.
Let’s start with you.

You are likely here because you have experienced, heard or witnessed unnecessarily difficult or traumatic births that have left you feeling frustrated and angry. You may be seeking answers, healing, accountability and/or a strong desire to prevent this from happening to other families.

We typically all grow up with a “doctor knows best” mentality. It’s often difficult to understand that they too are working within a broken system that is built on fear of liability, a system that has significant financial motivators and a system that has come to the conclusion that more interventions solve both of those issues and it’s up to us to make sure it changes.

Whether you experienced it first hand or you’ve been a witness, you may be a casualty of the system. We’re here to give you the tools & strategies you need to heal, take action and focus your consumer power to make a real difference in the lives of others.

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Core Beliefs

Currently care practices are not determined by consumers, but driven by provider preference, financial concerns, liability concerns, and deeply embedded (yet outdated) practice patterns.

We believe that birth can be better and that it matters. It matters for the lifelong mental health and well-being of the entire family. A healthy happy mom is a healthy happy family.

We believe that women are the ultimate decisions makers in childbirth, and they have the right to be treated with dignity and compassion.

We believe that the U.S. maternity care system is decades behind what we know is best for mothers and babies and that there is no real motivation for the system to change.

But most importantly, we believe that when people have the tools to inspire change, they will take action.

Origin Story

Founder Dawn Thompson worked for 14 years as a birth professional experiencing first hand the challenges of the “standard of care” in hospitals that families were facing. She felt frustrated and often angry. When she realized it wasn’t just happening in her community of San Diego, she knew something had to change. “I knew that the consumer had to be the driver for this change because there was zero motivation for the system to do anything different.”

So in late 2011, Dawn began organizing the first Rally to Improve Birth. That first year it was hosted in 110 cities in 46 states across the U.S., its second year it extended to other countries like Australia, Canada, Japan and Mexico.

In 2017 ImprovingBirth merged with the consumer group BirthNetwork National and the Coalition for Improved Maternity Services to become the largest maternal health consumer advocacy organization in the U.S.

 

Meet the Board
Dawn Thompson
Dawn Thompson
President

Founder of ImprovingBirth.org and former Vice President of the San Diego Birth Network.

Book Dawn to Speak

Victoria Macioce-Stumpf
Victoria Macioce-Stumpf
Consumer Advocacy Coordinator

Past President of CIMS and BirthNetwork National, Postpartum Doula and Childbirth Educator certified through DONA International, ICEA and CAPPA

Amanda Hardy Hillman, MA, Ph.D, LPC, ICCE
Amanda Hardy Hillman, MA, Ph.D, LPC, ICCE
Vice President

Faculty member at a larger Midwestern university and a licensed mental health professional.

Anna Graybill
Anna Graybill
Member at Large

Organizer and community builder.

Dr. Emiliano Chavira, MD, MFM
Dr. Emiliano Chavira, MD, MFM
Medical Director

Practicing Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist and Hospital Laborist at three Los Angeles area hospitals.

Book Dr. Chavira to Speak

Mary Regan, RN, Ph.D
Mary Regan, RN, Ph.D
Research & Implementation

Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Maryland.

Meet theTask Force
Candace Edwards LaFon
Candace Edwards LaFon
ImprovingBirth Network Membership Coordinator
Rachelle Hansen
Rachelle Hansen
Creative Director
Jennifer Jeppson
Jennifer Jeppson
ImprovingBirth Network Chapter Coordinator
Valerie Meharg
Valerie Meharg
Event Registration
Kim Baxley Wilson
Kim Baxley Wilson
Fundraising Coordinator
Heather Webster
Heather Webster
Chapter Social Chair

I cannot express how thankful I am for your organization and your help! I am just a mom with dreams of better birth options.

– Rebecca Bell, Mother
Tell Your Story

Sharing powerful stories of both negative and positive experiences can inspire people, helps them learn more quickly and quite possibly, inspire real change.

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