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Physiologic Birth Strategic Initiative


In 1996, the World Health Organization called for the elimination of unnecessary intervention in childbirth, yet in 2013, there are few resources to assist women and maternity care providers in achieving this goal. A 2012 consensus statement, “Supporting Healthy and Normal Physiologic Childbirth," explicitly identified key benchmarks of safe, healthy, and normal physiologic childbirth. Throughout 2012, the National Priorities Partnership convened a “Maternity Action Team” to discuss strategies to reduce elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation and reduce the cesarean birth rate in low-risk women to 15%.

ACNM’s Physiologic Birth Initiative builds on this framework by creating tools to assist maternity care providers, women, policymakers, and payers to protect, promote, and support healthy, physiologic childbirth and to avoid overuse of interventions, thus achieving better care, better health, and lower costs.

The Physiologic Birth Task Force is comprised of a steering committee, an advisory committee, and three subcommittees (listed below) designed to identify the evidence, care processes and outcomes, quality indicators, systems changes and outreach needed to support and promote the value of healthy, spontaneous labor and birth within the health care system and to the general public.  View the schematic.

  • The Consumer Education Subcommittee works to develop consumer-friendly resources to increase consumer awareness about the value of normal, healthy physiologic birth.  See Normal, Healthy Childbirth for Women & Families: What You Need to Know.
  • The Quality & Safety Organization Subcommittee is focused on developing and implementing strategies to elevate awareness within the national quality movement of the value of normal physiologic labor and birth; elevate recognition that increased utilization of midwives is a primary strategy to increase access to normal physiologic labor and birth; and increase the participation of midwifery practices nationwide in maternity care quality improvement initiatives.
  • The Physiologic Birth Toolkit Subcommittee develops toolkits for hospital-based clinicians and staff at the point of care.  See

For more information, please contact the Department of Professional Practice & Health Policy at (240) 485-1844 or [email protected].




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