October 08, 2019
Expecting More! A New Ariadne Labs Campaign That Intends to Shift the Narrative Around Childbirth
By: Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE | 0 Comments
Connecting the Dots and Lamaze International are delighted to learn and share with you all a new resource, Expecting More, being launched today by Ariadne Labs. Ariadne Labs is an organization that is part of a school of public health, where, much of their work to date has focused on the challenges health systems face in delivering safe care for people who are trying to start or grow their family. Neel Shah, MD, one of the co-founders of Expecting More along with Jocie Fifield, states that families expect more than emerging from childbirth unscathed. This campaign is being launched to engage leading thinkers and influencers like Lamaze International and you in exploring what #ExpectingMore could and should look like, alongside the families we all aim to serve.
Expecting More is empowering voices and engaging a national dialogue about the problems that growing families face in the US today, and the solutions that are needed. Safe, supportive, and empowering childbirth care should be the norm in the United States. Unfortunately, that is not the case. American expecting parents are 50% more likely to die in childbirth than their own parent was. Black parents are 3-4 times more likely to die than white parents.
And if the abysmal current maternal mortality rate is not enough, for every death, there are tens of thousands of people experiencing inconsistent and unreliable perinatal care, inadequate social support and economic challenges during the transition to life with a young baby.
Expecting More has a vision of a world where every person can choose to grow their family with dignity. Their mission is to elevate shared expectations of the care and support people deserve when they are growing their family. Managed by Ariadne Labs, Expecting More is a movement, creating space for families to share their experiences, to learn what they can expect and should demand from public leaders, and together shift the narrative of childbirth in the United States.
The Expecting More project will center around a website with two distinct sections:
OBservations will be a narrative series authored by Dr. Neel Shah, with a new short essay published on the website every few weeks. This series will draw from Dr. Shah’s experience as an obstetrician, director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative, and father to explore the historical, political, and clinical foundations of the problems we see today.
Voices will feature blog posts and transcribed interviews with others working in the field. This section will feature Ariadne Labs staff as well as others outside the organization who will draw attention to the myriad factors that affect the health of growing families and provide a platform for professions or individuals that may not always be included in the conversation.
According to Shah and Fifield – “The project begins with a recognition that the lived experience of growing families is a crucial form of expertise, one that has been largely absent from the efforts to forge a better system. Expecting More will explore what this better system could look like by putting the voices of families alongside professional experts in a common space. We hope to use our collective voices to make clear that the wellbeing of growing families ought to be a bellwether for the wellbeing of our society as a whole. And in the months ahead we hope to reorient the public conversation towards a world in which every person can choose to grow their family with dignity, and a world in which each of us has a clear role to play in supporting them.”
This new project is exciting because the maternal morbidity and mortality rates in the United States are shameful and often preventable. The more organizations and resources that that are raising awareness, keeping the issues at the forefront and working to improve outcomes so that people, especially people of color, are not experiencing such high death complication rates, the better our chances are of seeing an improvement in our outcomes, and helping families to both survive and thrive during the childbearing year.’
Please join me in welcoming Expecting More on the scene. Explore their new website, connect with them on social media and find out how you can get involved in helping families to expect more and support their efforts to shift the narrative of childbirth in the US.
TagsMaternal Morbidity Maternal mortality Neel Shah MD Ariadne Labs Sharon Muza Expecting More Joci Fifield