236175 Birth Centers - Needed now more than ever

Monday, October 31, 2011: 5:30 PM

Susan Rutledge Stapleton, DNP, CNM, FACNM , Research Committee Chair, American Association of Birth Centers, Kennebunk, ME
Cara Osborne, CNM, MS, SD , School of Nursing, University of Arkansas, Bentonville, AR
Maternity care in the United States is in crisis. Childbearing families face mounting challenges in accessing quality, affordable maternity care. Maternal and infant health outcomes are not improving, and some are deteriorating. In light of the increasing use of technology, with resultant rising cost, and increasing lack of support for physiologic birth, without associated improvements in outcomes, innovative models of maternity care are needed. The birth center offers such a model. Birth centers have 35-years of experience providing high quality care at cost savings. We have built a solid foundation for growth with national standards, state licensure and national accreditation. The midwifery-led, collaborative model of maternity care in birth center is a cost-effective model that promotes physiologic birth with an emphasis on evidence-based maternity care. Data from the American Association of Birth Centers' national data registry, the Uniform Data Set, suggests that this model achieves excellent perinatal outcomes with far less use of expensive interventions that appear to increase the risk of adverse outcomes. We present the first national study of this model of care since the landmark National Birth Center Study. The report describes characteristics of over 70 birth center practices, as well as prospective data from 30,000 women presenting for prenatal care intending birth center birth from January, 2007 through December, 2010, including demographics and medical, social and perinatal risk factors. Care and outcomes are described for 16,000 women admitted to a birth center in labor and their infants, including those transferred to the hospital.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1. Compare key birth center outcomes with national data 2. Describe practices in birth centers that support physiologic labor & birth.

Keywords: Maternal and Child Health, Midwifery

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Primary Investigator for the research project being presented, and am Chair of the Research Committee for the American Association of Birth Centers. In addition I am the Founder and former Director (25-years) of the Reading Birth and Women’s Center, Reading, PA. I received my MSN from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, my CNM from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and DNP from Frontier School of Midwifery & Family Nursing (FSMFN)
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
American Association of Birth Centers Data Registry Consultant and Independent Contractor (contracted research and clinical trials)

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.