There has been much to write about related to last week's birth professional summit called Transforming Maternity Care , whose goal is to make evidence-based care the standard in America, the land where obstetrical practices -- even bad ones -- die hard in the hospital.
But one midwife stood to say that while the hours of discussion were riveting, the average mother-to-be does not even know there is a problem with maternity care.
Which is why we need a more effective communications campaign to reach them.
On my way back from the conference in DC to Boston, I shared a cab (and hours of delay at the airport) with Gene Declercq of BU's School of Public Health. I asked him, given the success of the breastfeeding campaign in recent decades, is there hope that similar tactics could be applied to a campaign to improve maternity care, so that women know what practices are truly good for them based on the evidence?
He was dubious, saying that with breastfeeding, the only stakeholders to truly oppose nursing were the formula companies and they needed to be subtle in their marketing.
With childbirth, a whole medical system -- one that is paid for performing procedures, many unnecesary and some even harmful -- is set up to keep the status quo.
He may be right, but as one speaker made clear, childbirth is still a sexy issue that gets people's attention. And with more than 4 million births a year in this country, there is a built in audience. Let's try to reach them.