Salon Series: Supporting Women During Obstetric Emergencies

What happens when pregnancy and childbirth are not normal physiological events?  Some women experience severe life-threatening complications, such as postpartum hemorrhage, severe preeclampsia, amniotic fluid embolisms or cardiovascular disease. In this salon, Christine Morton, PhD, will present data and perspectives on the rise in maternal mortality and morbidity in California, based on her work at the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative.

Bay Area Doula Project Salon Series Presents:
Supporting Women During Obstetric Emergencies

Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Time: 7:00 to 8:30pm
Location: Langton Labs

32 Langton St., San Francisco
Just three blocks from Civic Center BART!
Cost: Free
$5-$15 Suggested Donation for Bay Area Doula Project, no one will be turned away for lack of funds

Physical complications during pregnancy or childbirth are becoming more common as women enter pregnancy with underlying health conditions, and with specialized treatment for women who might otherwise not have been able to conceive. The dramatic rise in cesarean surgery (now 33% in California) and the lack of access to vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) has also meant a rise in abnormal placental implantation, which increases risk of hemorrhage. What is the doula’s role during a physically traumatic birth? Women who have emergency cesareans requiring general anesthesia, or who receive blood transfusions, or undergo unexpected hysterectomies have a constellation of support and informational needs. Their partners and families have unique needs, as do the maternity care clinicians involved in the case. Being a full spectrum doula means supporting women through a continuum of birth experiences – from the orgasmic to the near-death.  When birth is not normal, how can doulas best frame the experience for themselves and the women they serve?

This session will also feature the perspectives of women who have experienced complications arising from childbirth and doulas who have supported women during complicated births.
Christine Morton, PhD is a medical sociologist who has been with CMQCC since 2008.  She is also conducting research with women who have experienced severe life-threatening complications during pregnancy or childbirth.  Her past research examined the roles of childbirth educators for Lamaze International; and she is the co-author (with Elayne Clift) of a forthcoming book based on her research on doulas: Birth Ambassadors: The Re-emergence of Woman-Supported Childbirth in the United States

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