I have received a request from an organisation in America who are running a contest looking for a short, about 4 – 7 minutes, video about an aspect of birth choices which is “factual, informational, educational, inspirational”.
The organisation is Birth Matters and if you would like to find out about the contest, which has a prize of $1,000, click on this link.
They state their goal as increasing awareness of the evidence-based choices and options available for childbirth. They hope to ” appeal to and inspire new audiences that may not have previously been exposed to any model of childbirth other than the version we see on television and in movies: dangerous, uncertain, excruciating, and usually in need of extensive and often emergency medical interventions.” Using these videos they believe that they will show ” Birth doesn’t have to be this scary, and people need good information in order to make good choices.”
Unfortunately the competition is aimed at an American audience, shame really I would have loved to contribute! Will it work? Well, with a caesarean section rate there approaching 30%, anything is worth a try.
Perhaps a pressure group here in the UK would like to run a competition along the same lines and with the same aim, after all our CS rate is rapidly approaching that in the USA. The recommendation from the World Health organisation is for a section rate of no more than 10-15%. The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement produced a ‘toolkit’ to assist maternity units in reducing the section rate, this doesn’t seem to have worked, perhaps short videos would? I would love to believe this, but sadly I believe that the ‘problem’ of the high CS rate is too multi-facetted for a media vignette to lower the rate by 0ver 10%. Fear of litigation influences clinical decisions, below optimum staffing levels effects both the clinicians, and the labouring womens actions and choices. I could ramble on about other factors like epidurals, unrealistic expectations and ‘control’ issues but these are purely personal, observational conclusions and so have no place in my musings which, although personal, are published on the web.