The folks over at Choices In Childbirth (CIC)– a NY-based organization dedicated to improving maternity care–have launched their Online Provider Network, a free online resource for new and expecting parents. CIC publishes an annual Guide To Healthy Birth; the online network extends that service. With it, you can search your area for “mother friendly” care-providers such as doulas, acupuncturists, lactation consultants, prenatal massage therapists, midwives and holistic-minded doctors.
“This project started in the NYC area and became a huge success; we are now trying to spread the word nationally” said CIC Program Manager, Malorie Ferrick.
According to the link provided by CIC, “mother friendly” is a designation used by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) to describe hospitals and care-providers who meet a certain criteria. Their philosophy centers on wellness, prevention and the avoidance of medical interventions when possible. In oder to be recognized as “mother-friendly,” birthing facilities must offer, among other things, quality and timely breastfeeding support and maintain low cesarean, induction and episiotomy rates.
I am constantly prattling on about how I wish the medical and midwifery models of care could be more integrated in this country. I find that women often to have to cobble together the various elements–a doula and an ob/gyn, for example–themselves. If you’re in that position, here’s a good place to look for the holistic and midwifery-minded practitioners to round out your care.