Betsy K. Schwartz is a pioneer and a visionary, and a mother of two grown boys. She is passionate about serving others and making a difference in the world. Betsy has been a postpartum doula for 27 years, and a trainer for much of that time. She is also a certified lactation counselor (CLC), board game creator, and Reiki Master. She offers courses for birth workers; both on and offline sells her original creation; Down the Canal – the Game of Birth, and shares the practice of Reiki. Betsy and her husband, Steve, and dog, Moses will soon be full-time RVers, traveling around the country to connect with birth workers and create a life of adventure. You can read about her travels at HippyGypsyDoula.weebly.com and learn about all the things at BirthInTheKnow.com.
This article shares some of the contributing factors to the rising maternal death rate in the United States. The question posed is: How is it that one of the wealthiest nations on earth, with some of the best medical advancements, is losing mothers to pregnancy-related complications at an alarming rate? I summarize some of the key findings of the ProPublica and NPR investigation into this matter: access to care, provider training, and failure to listen to mothers. I also point out that there are two models of care for birth; the midwifery model and the medical model. The midwifery model produces better outcomes, yet the primary model in the United States is the medical model.
This article reminds the reader that we can look to existing quality improvement programs, and other countries who are serving women and families with optimal care, health and outcomes at the forefront. The solutions are readily available if the desire exists.