As a nation, we are failing mothers, and it is time that hospitals and providers take pause. We have been focused on statistical outcomes — ultimately telling women, “A healthy baby is all that matters."
All too often, “healthy” means merely “surviving birth,” and that’s not good enough.
The time has come, as a nation, to ask #IsMomOK, because statistics tell us that a large number of people would answer that question with a resounding, "NO, I'm Not OK!"
With 1 out of 3 births ending in cesarean and 36% of those surveyed describing their births as traumatic, something must change. In addition, 1 in 5 are suffering from postpartum depression, and pregnant people are dying unnecessarily with the U.S. having the worst maternal mortality rate in the developed world.
Discussion about birth can be volatile, blamed for fueling the so-called 'mommy wars' or inciting judgement. Women who speak out are called 'selfish' and criticized as ungrateful for living in a first world country, or for their live baby. Our cultural view of pregnancy and birth, it seems, stems from a patriarchal attitude that feminism seeks to dismantle: that women must be submissive, passive, and let the experts who know better do the work.- Kim Lock
The #IsMomOK initiative will create a new consciousness in maternity care and drive the principles of our Mother-Friendly Hospital Accreditation Program (MFAP).
MFAP is for hospitals and providers ready to embrace that we are failing mothers and for those who are intent on reviewing their practices and policies so they may improve communications and the quality of care for the pregnant families they serve.
The MFAP offers a clear road map that guides providers and staff towards a more current and patient-centered care model.
Over the past 7 years, you have told us matters to you. The MFAP will ensure that protocols are in place for things like:
- Fully informed consent for all procedures, including induction
- Family-centered cesarean
- Skin to skin after all births, including surgical ones, for no less than 1 hour
- Delayed cord clamping for all births
- Eradication of patient blame and the use of such words such as "non-compliant" and "allow"
- Limited personnel at delivery to protect patient privacy
- Eradicate coercive, non-directive language
Mother-Friendly is about creating reassurance and peace of mind that pregnant people are putting their body, their baby, and their family in the hands of someone they can trust.