Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rep. Roybal-Allard Applauds Consensus Agreement of Home Birth Summit

For immediate release:
November 16, 2011
Contact: Douglas Farrar
(202) 225-1766


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34) spoke in the House of Representatives today [click here for video] to recognize the significance of the consensus document produced by the Home Birth Consensus Summit that took place in Warrenton, VA between October 20 and 22.

"The publication of the Home Birth Consensus document is of critical importance to all current and future childbearing families in this country," said Rep. Roybal-Allard. "I am pleased that the report supports the need for maternity service reform which I champion in my MOMS for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2141). With the support of the diverse stakeholders of maternity services, I call on Congress to act to pass this important legislation to make evidence based maternity care a national priority. The mothers and babies in this country deserve nothing less."  
The Home Birth Consensus Summit marked the first time a multi-disciplinary group of maternity care providers came together with consumers and industry leaders to determine what the maternity care system could do to make homebirth the safest and most positive experience possible for all moms and babies. The Delegates were charged with finding common ground to move the issue of safe home birth beyond professional differences and toward consensus-building. The result of their effort was a consensus document released on November 1st of this year. This important document sets out 9 essential statements of agreement about the ideal system to promote the safest and most positive birth outcomes across all birth settings including:
  • All childbearing women, in all maternity care settings, should receive respectful, woman-centered care, including opportunities for shared decision-making to help each woman make the choices that are right for her.  
  • Physiologic birth is valuable for women, babies, families and society and appropriate interventions should be based on the best available evidence to achieve optimal outcomes for mothers and babies. 
  • Collaboration within an integrated maternity care system is essential for optimal outcomes. And when necessary, all women and families planning a birth center or home birth have a right to: a respectful, safe, and seamless consultation, referral, transport and transfer of care.
  • All health professionals who provide maternity care in all settings should have a license that is based on national certification that includes defined competencies and standards for education and practice.
  • In order to foster effective communication and collaboration across all maternity disciplines, all students and practitioners involved in maternity and newborn care must learn about each other’s disciplines, and maternity care in all settings.
Additionally, the Consensus Document calls for:  medical liability system reform, a compulsory process for the collection of patient data in all birth settings, the elimination of disparities of care and increased consumer participation.
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