Online Program

Healthy Birth Choices Workshops – Providing a Space to Empower Families about Choices in Childbirth

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Michele Giordano, MS in Social Work, 441 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY
Background: Many women do not have accurate, empowering information about their birth options – from hospital birth to doula care to breastfeeding options.  There are few spaces for women to hear from other women, their partners and providers about the full range of opportunities for a safe, healthy and empowered birth experience.

Methods: To fill this gap, Choices in Childbirth designed an innovative series of Healthy Childbirth Workshops on important topics (e.g., building a birth team, how to have a great hospital birth, engaging men in birth). These workshops are presented by facilitators in a non-judgmental space for new and expectant parents to engage in conversation surrounding choices in childbirth (e.g, choosing to breast vs formula feed, to use an ob/gyn versus a midwife).  Each workshop has a highly curated panel of new parents that have experience in the topic and providers. These interactive workshops help families consider the risks, responsibilities and realities associated with childbirth to make informed decisions regarding where, with whom, and how they plan to give birth.  

Results:  Over the past 10 years, these workshops have reached 5,000 individuals across New York City.  Stories have been shared with the team, including validation of experiences, like medically necessary c-section. Choices in Childbirth is planning an expansion to reach underserved areas within New York City with this collaborative group model of health education that includes peers and providers. 

Conclusion: Choices in Childbirth’s Healthy Childbirth Workshops create a safe space for families to learn to make informed healthcare decisions.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education

Learning Objectives:
Identify a childbirth facility, provider and experience for pregnancy and birth Describe feelings, concerns and question around childbirth

Keyword(s): Maternal and Child Health, Peer Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Michele Giordano is the Executive Director of Choices in Childbirth. Michele’s career began at Planned Parenthood in Trenton as a Program Manager for an HIV prevention grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. Michele holds a Masters of Science in Social Work from Columbia University and a BA in Women’s Studies from Rutgers University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.