AWHONN Position Statement on Midwifery Affirms Birthplace Options, Transfer Guidelines

A woman’s right to choose a full range of providers and settings for pregnancy and birth was recently affirmed in a position statement on midwifery by the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). In that statement, AWHONN also emphasized the need for smooth, efficient transfer when planned birth center or home births require a transfer to a hospital setting. The Best Practice Guidelines: Transfer from Planned Home Birth to Hospital, created by the Collaboration Task Force of the Home Birth Summit, were specifically cited.

In the revised, reaffirmed statement, AWHONN states:

Because women may choose different settings for birth (hospital, free-standing birth center, or home), it is important to develop policies and procedures that will ensure a smooth, efficient transition of the woman from one setting to another if the woman’s clinical presentation requires a different type of care. Exemplary best practice guidelines have been developed for transfer from home or out of hospital birth settings to the hospital (Home Birth Summit, 2014; Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). These guidelines present the core elements for transfer policies in each setting and include actions to promote respectful, interprofessional collaboration; ongoing communication; and compassionate, family-centered care.

To read the full position statement, click here.

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