As an anthropologist and a midwife, Dr. Cheyney is interested in US maternity care system and the way in which we utilize midwifery. Since 2007, she has been working with the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) to collect and analyze data about planned home birth. The largest registry of its kind in the US, MANA stats data serves as a valuable source of information about the outcomes of planned home birth.
Dr. Declercq started his career as a childbirth educator. He has published numerous articles on childbirth practice and policy in the US and abroad. He has particular interest in maternal and infant mortality and the rising cesarean section rates in the US. His 20 minute video, Birth by the Numbers, is an excellent resource for those curious about how maternal and child health outcomes in the US rate compared to other countries. (Link to birthbythenumbers.org)
Saraswathi did something no one had done before when she first brought together all the stakeholders in maternity care for the Home Birth Consensus Summit. In it’s third year, she invites us to participate in the summit, to capture and share the challenges and real accomplishments that come when you bring people with different views and backgrounds together around something as polarizing and political as home birth in the US.
Jennie never met a challenge she didn’t face head on. As an immigrant from the UK, she assumed she would be able to work as a midwife in hospitals as she had back home. She soon found out that if she wanted to practice as a direct entry midwife in the US, she would have to learn to do home or birth center birth--so that’s what she did. In the course of her practice she became more and more concerned with the disparities she was seeing among racial and socioeconomic lines. Not satisfied with the systems currently in place, she found a way to work creatively within the system to expand services and remove any barrier to maternity care.
Judith was the first midwife to publish in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1989. Her study about birth center outcomes was the first of it’s kind. With nearly 50 years in public health and maternity care her voice is at the same time historical and relevant.