The Birth Place Lab
The Birth Place Lab, in the Division of Midwifery at the University of British Columbia facilitates multi-disciplinary research, community-based participatory research, and knowledge translation around access to high quality maternity health care across birth settings. Professor Vedam, Chair of the Birth Place Lab, and her research staff coordinate projects that prioritize the advancement of evidence-based policy related to birth place and equity in maternity care. Outcomes to date include the development and dissemination of Best Practice Guidelines for Transfer from Home to Hospital; development of an open source, online Shared Decision Making Toolkit for Health Professionals on Collaborative Leadership; the development of new scales to measure Mothers’s Autonomy in Decision Making (MADM), experience of respectful care, the Mothers on Respect index (MORi) and multi-disciplinary provider attitudes towards place of birth (PAPHB-m). The Birth Place Lab supports multi-national, multi-disciplinary teams of researchers as they collaborate on both quantitative and qualitative research projects around health services, patient experience, provider attitudes, interprofessional collaboration, and access to physiologic birth across birth settings.
Many of these activities were generated by the Home Birth Summits (2011, 2013, 2014) which convened 150 national leaders to discuss improved integration of maternity care services for women and families who choose to deliver at home or in a birth center in the United States. Summit delegates represented diverse stakeholder perspectives and included consumers, family medicine, obstetricians, midwives, nurses, pediatricians, researchers, ethicists, educators, policy makers, legislators, health systems, payor and liability experts. Professor Saraswathi Vedam, Chair of the Birth Place Lab and her staff facilitate the multiple strategic initiatives and research projects, developed by each of 9 Home Birth Summit Task Forces, to examine and improve access to safe, respectful, and affordable maternity care, to enhance inter-professional collaboration, and to enable patient-responsive and population-specific research on patient choice, experience and outcomes related to birth place. The Summit outcomes were considered so significant and timely that the Summit proceedings and outcomes were read into the United States Congressional Record by Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (November 2011). Details available at: www.homebirthsummit.org.