Monday, May 24, 2010

Ask Busca: Arizona Birth Activism?

Diane said:
I am getting ready to deliver baby number 3 and this will be my first delivered at home with a midwife. I have been learning and trying to digest everything I can get my hands on regarding midwifery care and home birthing, and I have been absolutely stunned and appalled at what the women in this country have not been told about giving birth. I myself had no idea how things should/can be, and had always assumed that the doctors know best. 

So on to why I am writing to you. My husband and I have been moved by our desire to get the word out to other women, and to also encourage an overhaul of our maternity care in the US. I believe you are in AZ too, and I was wondering if there are activism groups here? Or am I riled up about nothing? I just feel like we should DO something.
Thanks in advance for your time.
 Busca's Babble:

Diane actually sent me this email back in March, so first I'm going to apologize that it has taken me two months to respond.  But I am thrilled that you have had a fire lit under you and want to do something to help other women discover the truth, Diane.  You're definitely not riled up about nothing.

I think the first place I'll direct you is the Arizona Birth Network.  They hold monthly Birth Circle meetings at locations throughout AZ where you can meet with other like-minded women to discuss a variety of topics and brainstorm.  I haven't gone to any of the Birth Circles yet, but I am definitely planning on doing so.  Hopefully soon.

You also might consider attending your local La Leche League meetings.  I have friends who attend the meetings and have formed friendships and support networks through them.  The other women attending those meetings are also likely to either share your desire to share truth and knowledge or be open to further truth and knowledge that you are excited to share.

Another thing you might consider is starting your own group.  One of the fellow doulas-in-training at my doula workshop decided to create West Valley Birth Advocates.  I have attended and hosted meetings for that group.  You might consider hosting viewings of birth films or discussions of birth books in your own home for your friends and other women in your area to learn more.

You can also get involved on a more national level with groups such as Lamaze, Citizens for Midwifery, Childbirth Connection, and others.

I hope that helps, Diane!  Any of my Arizona birth junkie readers, please comment if you have any other ideas or tips.


Missy said...

I'll second you by saying that Birth circle meetings are great for this purpose. I've been going to the East Valley one for the past year or so and I have invited friends to them as well. It's a great way to share information without feeling like you are overdoing it. Also ICAN meetings are a wonderful place to support moms and advocate for those who want better births:)

Diana J. said...

I'll third the Birth Circle meetings and ICAN - good stuff! There's also the student midwife group for those interested in pursuing midwifery.

However, AZ is really lacking a true birth advocacy group - a group that exists solely to make a difference (rather than to educate). There was one that started a few years back, but it never really went anywhere. We could really use one here in the state.

If there was an advocacy group, my main concern would be that it would focus on positive ways to make a difference rather than adversarial ways that just make things worse. So many times advocacy groups do stuff like hold protests, write semi-hate-mail, etc. etc. It's much more effective to write encouraging letters of praise, to support hospitals with encouragement and free stuff (free doula trainings for nurses, raising money to buy a hospital a birth ball, hold breakfasts to thank a supportive OB, etc.). If we ever did get a group started here in AZ, that would be my main goal for it. Adversarial groups only drive people further away from embracing the group's goals/mindset/philosophy.

What do you think?

Buscando la Luz said...

Diana- Yes! I love your ideas. And I would love to be a part of a group like that. Let's make it happen! What do you say?

belle said...

bravo!!! i'm so excited that someone else is out there doing this.

i was attempting a homebirth with my 8th child.... long story short i didn't get it (went into labor at 33 weeks) but i'm so glad that someone else is carrying on this torch!

women in america are sadly uneducated about this option for low risk deliveries.


Diana J. said...

I'm going to email you! :) Give me a bit of time, as my computer time is rather scanty - but hopefully today. :)

diane said...

Diana - will you email me too? I want to help!

Cassie said...

I'm finally getting my blog up and running, and posted your guest post. THANK YOU, once again :-)