Sunday, November 7, 2010

Women of SLO County Help Empower Your Sisters & Friends!

There is nothing more powerful than women sharing information. Most women make important decisions about their health care based on things they have learned from other women in their community. This exchanging of information and wisdom is a staple of women's conversations from time immemorial; from the local well at the oasis to the local quilting bee on the prairie. Today women go on-line in droves to connect on social networks; from chat rooms to blogs to web sites devoted to women's issues. It is time information about our local birth community was part of this conversation. You can help your sisters, friends, workmates and all the birthing women of SLO County. It is simple. You don't even have to leave your home.

If you have given birth in the last 3 years I urge you to let your voice be heard. By answering the questions on the Birth Survey you can easily let other women in our community know how happy or unhappy you are with your care provider, place of birth, doula & childbirth educator. You also will be helping the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services compile national statistics on what is really happening out there with issues, such as, induction & pitocin, epidurals, and cesareans. Perhaps just as important for other women to hear is how the office staff treated you, if your care provider listened to you, were you able to get all your questions answered, did they provide their statistics for c-sections, episiotomies and natural births. How would you rate the hospital staff? Did you feel well cared for? Did they offer breastfeeding help and was it helpful, etc.? Wouldn't you like the women in our community to know about the quality of care you received during your pregnancy, birth & early postpartum period?

For a pregnant woman finding a care provider, doula, educator and place of birth that match her values surrounding birth is critically important. These choices can make or break her feelings about her birth. Her birth has the power to impact her either positively or negatively. As an example, if she wants an epidural she should go to a doctor who supports that choice and if she doesn't want one she needs to find a care provider that supports THAT choice. Why? Because if she desires to birth with an epidural and doesn't receive one she will feel disempowered during the birth. For the woman that wished to birth without medication and then feels pressured to give in to an epidural she will feel victimized and helpless. The key is finding the right match for you. Look up a doctor, midwife or hospital.

Guess what? Sierra Vista isn't even on the survey yet because in the 2 years it has been going no one has input any information about their experience there. We owe it to our sisters, friends, coworkers and all the women in our community to stand up and be counted. Please take the Birth Survey!

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