Guest post by Beccah Rothschild, a consultant to the California Health Care Foundation
Did you know that hospitals do a lot more C-sections now than ever before? In many cases, C-sections are life-saving and necessary. But, some hospitals are quicker to perform a C-section than others – even when they could have been avoided.
Why does this matter? It matters because if a woman has a C-section, there are more chances for complications, like infections and heavy blood loss. And, it’s major surgery, so it takes longer for the mom to heal.
To help new moms-to-be learn more about C-sections and how to have informed and meaningful conversations with their healthcare providers – including how to avoid one unless it’s absolutely needed – we recommend checking out the My Birth Matters campaign. The California Health Care Foundation, California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative, and Consumer Reports co-created it after one year of rigorous research and development — including input from key stakeholders such as CDPH and DHCS, and racially, economically, and geographically diverse pregnant women across California.
The My Birth Matters resources for pregnant women include:
- The website, which gives women tips on talking to their doctor about their birth preferences, creating their birth team, and determining the C-section rate at their hospital. It’s easy to read and available in English and in Spanish. You’re welcome to link to the site and share it in all of your outreach strategies.
- The four animated videos, which model how pregnant women can engage in conversations with their healthcare providers about how to avoid a C-section they don’t absolutely need. The videos are each between 1-2 minutes long and available in English and in Spanish. These are also available for you to use and share at no cost.
- The poster and brochure, both called How to Reduce Your Chances of Having a C-Section, provide basic facts about the risks of unnecessary C-Sections and what can be done to proactively avoid one. They’re easy to read and available in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Grab them from the Communications Toolkit (ZIP file) print them out, and feel free to disseminate widely!
Ideas on how to share the My Birth Matters materials:
- Include in Newsletters: Include My Birth Matters messaging in your hardcopy and e-newsletters. Not sure what to write? Contact Beccah Rothschild, consultant to the California Health Care Foundation, for a sample article.
- Show Videos: Have a captive audience in your waiting rooms? Need to switch out videos you’ve already shown on social media for something new? The My Birth Matters videos are perfect for quickly sharing information and making an impact.
- Share Brochures and Posters in Home Visits, at Hospitals, and During Pre-Natal Appointments: Include the print materials – available in five languages – as part of your packets for home visits and pre-natal appointments.
- Add to Your Website and Resource Library: Link to the entire My Birth Matters campaign or any of the videos on your website and in your resource library.
- Post to Social Media: Engage your social media followers by using the pre-written My Birth Matters Facebook and Twitter posts. You can find them on pages 4- 5 of the Communications Toolkit (ZIP file)– and, please use the hashtag #MyBirthMatters!
We hope you’ll join your colleagues across California (and the country) in sharing the My Birth Matters materials with pregnant women. And if you do, please drop an email to Beccah Rothschild, consultant to the California Health Care Foundation, so that your efforts can be added to their tracking list.