Research & Data Collection

About This Task Force

Chair: Saraswathi Vedam RM, MSN, FACNM, SciD (hc)

This multi-disciplinary task force of individuals is actively engaged in innovative research related to various spheres of maternity care. Members include leaders from academic, clinical, and consumer advocacy portfolios. All have an interest in developing the evidence basis around birth place in the US.

  • Development of capacity and collaborative teams for research projects focused
  • on birth place.
  • Provide expert consultation and oversight of research projects that support initiatives of other Home Birth Summit action task forces.
  • Presentations and representation at meetings related to birth place research and knowledge translation.
  • Research design and implementation relevant to birth place.
  • Expert reviews for relevant journal articles and publications

Activities To Date

  • Developed a prioritized 5-10 year research agenda on birth place in the US.
  • Collaborative survey of US Birth Certificate forms, by state, to capture the nature of existing data collection, and to inform recommendations to improve accurate and comprehensive data on planned place of birth and provider types.
  • Expert consultation, presentations, and representation at the March 2013 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Workshop on Birth Place, NEPQN Annual meetings, AMCHP webinar on Home
  • Expert reviews for annual update of Annotated Bibliography on Home Birth Literature (October 2012).
  • Provided expert consultation for preparation and dissemination of 2 manuscripts describing the development and validation of the MANA Stats registry 2.0 dataset.

Work In Progress

New Studies on Midwives of Color – HBCS delegates from ICTC, NARM, and MANA are collaborating with members of the Research and Data Collection task force on two new community-based research projects around midwives of color. Based on data derived from the most recent NARM job analysis, midwife members who self-identified as “of color” will be invited to participate in focus groups to explore facilitators and barriers that they have experienced with respect to access to midwifery education, and as practitioners. The studies will also explore the different issues experienced by region.

Analysis of Maternal and Fetal Outcomes by Birth Place – Members of the Research and Data task force are making plans for an analysis of maternal and fetal outcomes by birth place in the US, comparing existing MANAStats data on home and birth center births with a matched cohort of low risk women who planned a hospital delivery (total sample size ~80,000). Preparation steps for this project includes validation and development of codebooks for available datasets (3.0, 4.0).

Future and Ongoing Projects

  • Develop pilot projects to study effects of a collaborative model of care within vulnerable populations
  • Nationwide survey on physicians’ attitudes / knowledge about home birth
  • Provide expert consultation for the development of an evidence-based rating system for a State Midwifery Regulation & Licensure Database
  • Participate in the Midwifery Data Collaborative (MDC)
  • Design a “Listening to Home Birth Mothers Survey”
  • Design study of outcomes by birth place in states where mandatory data collection already exists
  • Evaluate inter-professional conflict and collaboration during transfer from planned home birth to hospitals

Vision Statement

We envision a compulsory process for the collection of patient (individual) level data on key process and outcome measures in all birth settings. These data would be linked to other data systems, used to inform quality improvement, and would thus enhance the evidence basis for care.


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