Welcome to the TMC Blog

In 2010, Childbirth Connection issued the “2020 Vision for High-Quality, High-Value Maternity Care” and “Blueprint for Action” charting the path to the envisioned maternity care system. These two direction-setting documents have formed the foundation of our own work and that of many other individuals and organizations over the past two years. We launched transform.childbirthconnection.org earlier this year to share this consensus vision and foster, coordinate, and accelerate maternity care quality improvement. But we have not shared much about our own work. In doing so, we have probably missed opportunities to ask for our community’s participation in shaping, joining, and complementing these efforts.

That’s why we’ve launched this blog.

The Transforming Maternity Care Blog will feature news, opinion, and analysis from our three program staff, Executive Director, Maureen Corry, Director of Programs, Carol Sakala, and Associate Director of Programs, Amy Romano, and occasionally from guest contributors. We’ll highlight innovative and effective quality improvement efforts, introduce readers to inspiring leaders and thinkers, analyze health care trends that affect childbearing women and newborns, and share opportunities and resources for all maternity care stakeholders.

In the coming weeks, you’ll read about how the patient advocacy movement is shaping health care conversations, a major partnership to implement shared decision making in maternity care, opportunities for Medicaid to drive quality improvement in maternity care, new standards for two essential tools for improvement — systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines — and more.

We hope you’ll participate in the conversation by leaving comments, sharing our posts with others, and suggesting topics of interest to you.

What would you like to read about on the TMC Blog?


Filed in Blog on Tue., Jul 5, 2011

10 Responses to “Welcome to the TMC Blog”

  1. Melissa says:

    So glad to see you blogging again, Amy! I’m interested in how to get childbearing women to realize the many options they have when it comes to maternity care. There are so many choices, and too many women end up blindly accepting the status quo.

  2. Amy Romano Amy Romano says:

    Thanks for being the brave soul to leave the first comment! This is an area we’re spending a good deal of time on in our Shared Decision Making Maternity Initiative with the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making. Next week, I’ll post an interview Lyn Paget, their Director of Policy and Outreach, about the promise of shared decision making in maternity care and the rigorous process of developing effective, evidence-based tools to support informed choice. An early part of our Initiative will be the development of tools to support decision making about care provider and place of birth, which are important because they influence so many other choices “downstream.” I suspect given this collaboration with FIMDM, there will be plenty of coverage of shared decision making on this blog. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Jackie Levine says:

    I second the emotion…it just feels right that your unique voice is back.

    Might things really be looking up when it comes to improvement in the quality of maternity practices…by that I mean the employment of best-evidence care, of which you are so lively a champion? I’m hoping to share your optimistic view.

    As I mentioned in my post in a recent S&S blog, a hopeful sign is ACOG’s call “for evidenced-based practice and greater cooperation between obstetrician-gynecologists and certified nurse-midwives/certified midwives”, “recognizing the importance of options and preferences of women in their healthcare”,1 and the recommendation by ACOG that OBs actively include women in the “planning of health services to reduce risk and improve outcomes” with “shared medical decision-making”.2
    Yet in the LDRs day-after-day, even the most well-informed, well-prepared, experienced and determined mother may, in the last moment, have her perineum snipped by a poorly informed, lazy or stubborn caregiver who then blithely says “Oh, and I gave you an episiotomy because you were starting to tear…” or who will say “I was getting nervous about the baby getting too many red blood cells” and clamps the cord after a few seconds, no matter the mother’s and father’s wishes.

    Yes, finding a way to inform each and every women of the range choices she has for her birth and “supporting” those choices is our ongoing mission. But how can we ever overcome the refusal of the “industry”, OBs and the hospitals, to institute evidence-based care and standards of practice for mothers-to-be and their babies? I guess I just need to get to a conference soon to re-up my hopeful outlook. Best of luck with your new(ish) position and this new blog. Again, glad you’re back sending your thoughts out into the ether.

    1-Joint Statement of Practice Relations between Obstetrician-Gynecologists and Certified Nurse-Midwives/Certified Midwives,” released April 1.
    2-ACOG Recommends Partnering With Patients to Improve Safety, Obstet Gynecol. 2011;117:1247-1249 Extract

  4. Amy Romano Amy Romano says:

    Jackie, thanks so much for your kind words and thoughtful insights. As we embark on the Shared Decision Making Maternity Initiative, we’re keenly aware of the context in which decisions are made in our current system, which is why we’re working so hard on other areas as well, such as payment reform, performance measurement, and improving the liability system. Our collaborating partner, the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, also undertakes significant research and advocacy in these complementary areas. There are many barriers, but we do indeed have a sense of optimism that we can overcome some of them. And as you say there are converging trends that seem to make more room for new (or old!) models of woman- and family-centered care and informed choice. Lyn Paget’s interview next week addresses some of these questions and I hope you’ll join the conversation then and share your insights. We’re very much in an information-gathering phase right now, which is what this blog is about.

  5. Jackie Levine says:

    Amy, I really look foreward to the further adventures of TMC, to watch and perhaps participate in the march towards improvement in maternity care. While I get the newsletter from CC, I seem not to have got this blog sent to me, and only found it through a link on the OBOS (Our Bodies, Our Blog) blog site. How do I sign up to receive this blog without fail? Did I miss signing up in the last Childbirth Connection email? No matter, I’ll find you.

  6. Amy Romano Amy Romano says:

    The blog just launched this week, so don’t worry – you haven’t missed anything! I’ll look into how to do email sign-ups. If you use a news reader like Google Reader you can add the url http://transform.childbirthconnection.org/blog to that. You can also follow on Facebook and/or Twitter to stay abreast of updates. Thanks for reading and being one of the first to comment!

  7. Hillary says:

    Congratulations! Very excited to have a new birth blog–and one that is sure to be filled with value for the community.

    What I’d like to see are highlighted examples of ways people and groups are initiating and creating successful change. It would be great to include “don’t make our mistakes, but here’s what we learned.” I know there are so many inspiring movements going on and considering that it’s so easy to get down and burnt out in this kind of work it would be great to feed our optimism and success all the while being grounded in skill building and tool sharing.

    Thanks again for all the hard work you ladies do to improve maternal health.

  8. I agree with Hillary. I want to hear about how people and institutions are creating successful change.

  9. Amy Romano Amy Romano says:

    Hillary and WRM, that’s one of the goals of this entire site, and it’s why we launched the TMC Directory and collected together resources like the Improvement Toolkit Inventory. We’re so inspired by the many examples of high quality care and effective improvement initiatives, and definitely plan to feature some of those on this blog.

  10. aliza says:

    hospital practices re: breastfeeding and LC staffing ratios