BIRTH TOOLS
& RESOURCES

Childbirth Tools

Birth Plan

Use this birth plan to prepare yourself for your upcoming delivery and communicate your preferences with your obstetrician, midwife, and/or doula.

Download Birth Plan Here

Legal Aid At Work “Pregnancy + My Job: A Roadmap” Infographic

Download this helpful infographic and guide developed by Legal Aid At Work to better understand your work rights in California as a pregnant woman and new parent. Legal Aid At Work protects the rights of pregnant women, new parents, and caregivers to time off work, paid leave, and workplace accommodations.

Black Maternal Health Week 2019 Digital/Social Media Toolkit

Founded by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW) is intended to raise awareness, inspire activism, and strengthen organizing for Black maternal health. This toolkit includes images, videos, infographics and other important content that can be shared across social media networks during BMHW 2019, taking place April 11-17, to raise awareness about about Black maternal health in the US.

California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative Toolkit

This toolkit is a comprehensive, evidence-based “how-to” guide designed to educate and motivate maternity clinicians to apply best practices for supporting vaginal birth. Cesarean births among low-risk, first-time mothers have been the largest contributor to the recent rise in cesarean rates, and accounts for the greatest variation in cesarean rates between hospitals.

The Toolkit contains key strategies and resources to:

  • Improve the culture of care, awareness, and education for cesarean reduction
  • Support intended vaginal birth
  • Manage labor abnormalities and safely reduce cesarean births
  • Use data to drive reduction in cesareans

BirthTools.org Toolkit

This toolkit was developed by maternity care professionals to promote care practices that support physiologic birth. With leadership from ACNM and consultation from Childbirth Connection a multi-stakeholder committee comprised of representatives from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, National Association of Certified Professional Midwives and Lamaze International along launched BirthTOOLS (Tools to Optimize Outcomes of Labor Safely). The toolkit contains a synopsis of the evidence base and offers targeted resources, protocols and other materials to assist clinicians and health care systems in implementing best practices that promote physiologic birth.

THE JJ WAY®

The JJ Way®” is a model of prenatal care designed by midwife Jennie Joseph to reduce health disparities and adverse birth outcomes, such as preterm birth and low birth weight infants. The model provides an evidence-based system to deliver MCH services which improve health, reduce costs and produce better outcomes all round. In a recent study “The JJ Way®: Reducing Perinatal Outcomes Disparities,” found that her model had significantly lower gestational periods and lower preterm birth rates for Women of Color.

Childbirth Connection: Healthy Pregnancy

Childbirth Connection provides guidance for future mothers on where to find a maternity care provider and birth setting that will directly align with the mother’s goals and preferences. In addition, they include a slide that takes women through what their body will look like throughout a healthy pregnancy. To learn more, visit the Healthy Pregnancy section on the Childbirth Connection page.

Lifesaving Tips for a Safer Birth

Most births in the United States occur without incident. But if an unexpected emergency arises, you want your providers to be prepared. This document developed by USA Today Investigates outlines tips and questions you can use to assess a hospital’s ability to treat excessive bleeding and high blood pressure, two of the leading preventable causes of childbirth harms to moms.

Other helpful articles and resources

Ultrasound: Prematurity and Potential Risks | Midwifery Today | By Beverley Lawrence Beech
Over 50 years ago, Ian Donald experimented with using ultrasound to investigate babies in the womb. In 1980 he warned, “Sonar is not a new medical religion…nor an end in itself. A tool exploited for its own sake is no better than a saw given to a small boy for cutting wood, who must presently look around the house for suitable objects of furniture inviting amputation … the possibility of hazard should be kept under constant review” (Donald 1980, 1).

A Guide from USA Today: Lifesaving Tips for a Safer Birth
You can help protect your own life – or a loved one who is pregnant. This printable guide developed by USA Today as part of its maternal mortality investigative series lists the most important questions you can ask the doctor and the hospital about their safety practices.

The Dr. Brewer Pregnancy Diet
The Dr. Brewer pregnancy diet has been developed over the past 130 years to ensure that a woman is eating enough of the key nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. We know this is a lot to eat, but just try to do the best you can. Consult your doctor, midwife or doula if there are any questions.

Spinning Babies – Techniques for Easier Birthing
Spinning Babies childbirth education promotes trust and comfort through fetal positioning and natural childbirth. Learn how to relax the birthing process through various techniques that can get your baby in the right position.

Ask Dr. Sears: CNN.com & Dr. Bob: Should I Vaccinate?
CNN correspondent Elizabeth Cohen explores how parents attempt to answer this question, and how various doctors across the nation are responding to parents’ concerns, in her weekly column on www.CNN.com. Download the Alternative Vaccine Schedule Chart

Epidurals: Risks and concerns for mother and baby
Epidurals are an effective pain-relief procedure for women in labor, but should be used with caution. This article outlines the potential risks that any expecting mother should be aware of before making the decision to use epidurals during labor. Women should speak with their doctor, midwife, and/or doula about any questions or concerns they have about receiving an epidural.

ACOG Guidelines: Approaches to Limit Intervention During Labor and Birth

ACOG released this opinion document in February 2017 outlining strategies to limit interventions during labor and avoid unnecessary interventions. Significant updates in ACOG’s recommendations include:

  • Obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers should be familiar with and consider using low-interventional approaches for the intrapartum management of low-risk women in spontaneous labor
  • In contrast to the prior suggested threshold of 4 cm, the onset of active labor for many women may not occur until 5–6 cm
  • Continuous one-to-one emotional support is associated with improved outcomes for women in labor

Research Reports

Maternity Health Organizations