I discovered the Trust Birth Initiative several years ago through their "Take Birth Back" movement which meshes nicely with birth activism and also with supporting consumer interests in birth (the basic activity of "Take Birth Back" is handing out awareness cards on Labor Day). I distributed several hundred cards during 2006 (see image to right--front and back of card shown side by side).
Inspired by this card idea, advocates in Missouri designed a card for our own awareness-raising efforts for midwifery legislation. We distributed more than 10,000 of them around the state! Advocates threw them in parades, left them on tables in fast food restaurants, posted them on all kinds of bulletin boards etc. The cards are business card sized and the vertical format makes them stand out from other business cards. We ordered them from vistaprint for "free" (plus shipping cost) and found it was a low cost and effective tool.
In addition to Take Birth Back, Trust Birth has a powerful statement of beliefs as well as local facilitators who hold woman-to-woman support groups.
I deeply connect with the vision here and there are two statements I often quote from the beliefs statement: "birth should not be a time in a woman's life when she has to FIGHT for anything." I use this quote particularly when women are talking about how they are going to "negotiate" the hospital system and "advocate" for what they want and be "strong" about expressing their wants/needs for birth. I also like the statement that "interference with birth begins the moment she leaves her home and the minute she is in the hospital she is no longer in charge."
Trust Birth is also having the first ever Trust Birth conference in March!
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