Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why the Controversies in Childbirth Conference?

Why the Controversies in Childbirth Conference? As my profile says, I have been the administrator of a number birth centers and also have a background in the insurance industry as well as marketing expertise. I know firsthand the day-to-day challenges that are faced by birth care providers and facilities. I know how most providers try to do the best job possible for patients/clients with huge malpractice premiums, low reimbursements and crazy work hours. Besides working with the various different types of birth care providers, I have also had the opportunity to go to the conferences of almost all the professional organizations involved in birth. This included the obstetricians conference, nurse midwives conference, homebirth midwives conference, doulas conference, hospital executives conference, insurance executives conference and a birth advocate conference. What I have found is what amounts to an adversarial relationship between the various professions. Some of the things that happen at the conference are antagonistic to other professions if not downright ugly. An example would be a bumper sticker at an obstetricians conference saying “home delivery is only for pizza”. Likewise, at a birth advocate conference, obstetricians are portrayed as evil psychotic control freaks, whose sole desire is earning lots of money while abusing their patients. Of course, all these conferences are singing to the choir. For the most part, an obstetrician’s conference doesn't have midwives and a midwife’s conference does not have obstetricians. The purpose of the Controversies in Childbirth Conference ( is to begin a conversation at the practitioner level between the various disciplines to see where their common problems are and if the various disciplines might be able to help each other. More next time Alan

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