I shared this quote in another blog post some time ago. It reminds me that perhaps the best avenue for birth advocacy is to back up and start talking to young women in high school or college, and not in trying to “preach” to other adult women who in all likelihood have very complicated reasons for making the choices they are making (and not being “enlightened” as to the “empowering way!” is usually not one of those reasons). If birth advocates are actually going to make meaningful changes (instead of enemies, or at least making women feel “unheard,” unacknowledged, dismissed, or misunderstood) they/we probably need to reach women before they are in that “fragile” or defensive state with regard to their own experiences.
Then, I received a notice about the federal Preconception Peer Educators Program (A Healthy Baby Begins with You), which trains college students as peer educators. A training is being held in Chicago in September to coincide with Infant Mortality Awareness Month and the program is seeking: 500 students/advisors from 20 states and the breakdown is as follows:
- 20 states
- 5 universities per state
- 4 students and 1 advisor per university
The emphasis of the training and program seems to be on reducing infant mortality, which of course is an important goal, but also one that is inextricably linked to optimal care of the mother (i.e. the kind of care offered by the Midwives Model of Care). So, I would hope to see more content within the program about maternity care, midwifery care, and birth rights in general, but I think it sounds like a very interesting, important, and useful program!