The American College of Nurse-Midwives Healthy Birth Initiative
aims to maximize women's opportunity to have a healthy birth using their own natural physiology while avoiding unnecessary procedures that may interfere with that process. The initiative takes a 3-pronged approach, equipping women, maternity care providers, and quality managers, hospital policymakers, and payers with the tools to inspire better care, better health, and lower costs. Tools You Can Use
The American College of Nurse-Midwives Healthy Birth Initiative has created several tools to support and promote the value of healthy, spontaneous labor and birth. They are:
For women: Normal, Healthy Childbirth for Women & Families: What You Need to Know is a free handout that explains what parents and their babies can expect from a normal, healthy birth and what they can do to maximize their chances of having a healthy, physiologic birth while minimizing their chances of experiencing unnecessary medical interventions during childbirth. Available in both English and Spanish language versions.
Click here to download a printable handout describing ACNM's
For maternity care providers: BirthTOOLS.org, which stands for Tools for Optimizing the Outcomes of Labor Safely, is an interactive online toolkit that presents the evidence and offers targeted resources, protocols, and other materials to assist clinicians and health care systems in implementing best practices that promote physiologic birth.
For hospital policymakers, payers and other organizations: Birth Matters is a handout for quality administrators that explains how implementing an evidence-based strategy focused on physiologic birth increases the well-being of families and prevents rare, adverse outcomes for hospital systems. Professionally printed copies of Birth Matters are available for purchase in the ACNM Store.
Healthy Birth Initiative resources to share with colleagues and friends (color and black in white options included).
Click here to view a fact sheet
about the ACNM Healthy Birth Initiative.
More About the American College of Nurse-Midwives Healthy Birth Initiative
In 1996, the World Health Organization called for the elimination of unnecessary intervention in childbirth. Yet, nearly 20 years later, there are few resources to assist women and maternity care providers in achieving this goal.
Throughout 2012, the National Priorities Partnership, a partnership of 52 major national organizations, discussed strategies to reduce elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation and reduce the cesarean birth rate in low-risk women to 15%. Concurrently, a 2012 consensus statement
from ACNM, the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), and the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM), explicitly identified key benchmarks to support safe, healthy, and normal physiologic childbirth.
After the release of the 2012 statement, ACNM convened a task force to use that historic document to maximize the opportunity to promote physiologic birth to several key audiences. The resulting Healthy Birth Initiative Task Force (previously known as the Normal Birth Task Force) consisted of 3 subcommittees: the Toolkit Subcommittee, charged with creating practical tools for clinicians to initiate change at the grassroots level; the Consumer Subcommittee which is creating materials to promote physiologic birth among women and their families; and the Maternity Care System Subcommittee, translating the value of physiologic birth into quality measures.
The American College of Nurse-Midwives Healthy Birth Initiative is led by ACNM with representatives from leading maternity care organizations including MANA, NACPM, AWHONN, Lamaze, Childbirth Connection, a program of the National Partnership for Women & Families, and Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA).
For more information, please contact the Midwifery Practice, Education & Global Outreach at (240) 485-1840 or [email protected]