A new educational resource sponsored by CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation and produced in partnership with Every Mother Counts provides an innovative set of tools to empower people on their pregnancy journeys and address maternity disparities. The Choices in Childbirth video series features real and relatable conversations among obstetricians, doulas, educators, midwives and expecting mothers about what good maternal care looks like, helping pregnant people find their voice and be more effective advocates for themselves and their babies.
The debut of Choices in Childbirth is particularly timely as the U.S. continues to experience the highest maternal mortality rate among developed countries. Approximately 700 women die from pregnancy-related complications each year in the U.S.https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/pregnancy-relatedmortality.htm About 60,000 women experience severe maternal morbidityhttps://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2021/oct/severe-maternal-morbidity-united-states-primer#:~:text=While%20maternal%20deaths%20in%20the,maternal%20morbidity%20can%20be%20avoided., unexpected outcomes of labor and delivery that result in significant short-or long-term impacts on the pregnant person’s health.
Worse, 60 percent of the pregnancy-related deaths are likely preventablehttps://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/nov/maternal-mortality-maternity-care-us-compared-10-countries. And poor birth outcomes are amplified in communities of color, with rates of severe maternal morbidity and mortality among Black women two to three times higher than that of white women.https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/103314/the-pandemic-has-increased-demand-for-data-and-accountability-to-decrease-maternal-health-inequity.pdf
The unscripted conversations in Choices in Childbirth unflinchingly explore the contributing factors behind racial disparities in pregnancy as people of color discuss situations throughout their pregnancy journeys in which they felt ignored, dismissed or intimidated. The videos also cover topics like informed decision making and how people can understand and exert their rights in the birthing process, the importance of good mental health, how to navigate prenatal and postpartum care, and the roles of different providers in the pregnancy journey.