Site of Birth Decision Making

Decision Making

We uphold the autonomy of all childbearing women.
All childbearing women, in all maternity care settings, should receive respectful, woman-centered care. This care should include opportunities for a shared decision-making process to help each woman make the choices that are right for her. Shared decision making includes mutual sharing of information about benefits and harms of the range of care options, respect for the woman’s autonomy to make decisions in accordance with her values and preferences, and freedom from coercion or punishment for her choices.

This task force is supporting the work of Childbirth Connection on their “Maternity Care Shared Decision Making Initiative.” Childbirth Connection is working in partnership with the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation which has an established evidence-based process for developing decision aids. Their objective is to produce a suite of web-based decision aids, including one that helps women make informed, values-based decisions about choice of care provider and birth setting. Amy Romano serves as the action task force chair and ensures that the task force’s activities are not “reinventing the wheel” and that Summit delegates are engaged as appropriate in planned activities related to the development, dissemination, and evaluation of the forthcoming decision aid.

The role of this action task force is to assist with identifying the following at various points in development of the decision aid and companion resources:

  • Existing evidence about the options and literature about women’s preference for birth sites, their experiences with their role in decision-making, and gaps in knowledge;
  • Existing decision support tools;
  • Prominent experts in the field who could serve as clinical and consumer advisors;
  • Women who have faced the decision to participate in focus groups;
  • Women and clinicians to participate in survey research that informs the development of decision quality measures;
  • Providers and patients for possible inclusion in video segments to show perspectives on experiences and model shared decision making and evidence based discussions; and
  • Possible partners for piloting and dissemination.

At the 2013 Summit, obstetricians shared their initiatives towards achieving this common ground vision.

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