About Choices in Childbirth

Education, Activation, and Support

Quality, respectful, and equitable maternity care is a fundamental human right. Everyone deserves the information they need to exercise their rights and get the care they need.

Choices in Childbirth was designed to educate people about their pregnancy and birth options, help them take an active role in their maternity care, and to remind them that they are not alone during pregnancy, birth, and beyond.

About the Series

Choices in Childbirth brings together national leaders and community stakeholders to deliver an inclusive, engaging, and trustworthy program to help you find the care that is right for you.

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A Participatory Process

As part of a year-long community-centered process led by Every Mother Counts, Choices in Childbirth brought together national leaders and community stakeholders to build a program that is inclusive, engaging, trustworthy, and designed to help people navigate to the care that is right for them.

The wisdom and expertise that went into this series include: the education and activation team at Primary Maternity Care; clinical and program leaders at CVS Health; a production team at Critical Mass; a measurement and evaluation team at Mathematica; and a national Working Group and Advisory Committee to provide guidance and feedback each step of the way. With these collaborators, Every Mother Counts is thrilled to launch this new resource to help every person navigate their way towards high-quality, respectful care.

Working Group

As part of our participatory approach, the Choices in Childbirth Working Group, consisting of leaders and experts in doula support, midwifery, and childbirth education, was convened from April through December 2021 to help develop the Film library. The Working Group co-created the learning agenda by identifying relevant topics that address the multi-faceted needs and experiences of pregnant people, particularly pregnant people of color.

Working Group Members
  • Debra Pascali-Bonaro, LCCE, AdvCD/BDT/PDT(DONA)
    Co-Chair, International Childbirth Initiative
  • Lorenza Holt MPH, BDT(DONA), SpBT
    Birth Advocate & Trainer, DONA International
  • Jennie Joseph, LM, CPM
    President, Commonsense Childbirth Inc.
  • Nicolle L. Gonzales, BSN, RN, MSN, CNM
    Founder & Midwifery Director, Changing Woman Initiative
  • Jill K. Wodnick LCCE, IMH(2)
    Childbirth Educator & Maternal Health Policy, Montclair State University
  • Tikvah Wadley AAS, CCE, CD/BDT(DONA)
    HealthConnect One Community Based Doula Leadership Institute
  • Tewa Women United
Advisory Committee

For more input from a broader range of stakeholders, an Advisory Committee was assembled to further refine the content, improve accessibility, and provide feedback as the Films and Resources took shape.

This group is made up of experts including midwives, OBGYNs, family physicians, doulas, childbirth educators, lactation consultants, community-based organizations, and advocacy groups.

Advisory Committee Members
  • Anabel Rivera, CBE, CLC
    Full Spectrum Doula, JustBirth Space
  • Marna Armstead
    Co-founder & Executive Director, SisterWeb San Francisco Community Doula Network
  • Chanel L. Porchia-Albert, CFSD
    Founder & CEO, Ancient Song Doula Services
  • Miamon Queeglay
    Manager of Community Engaged Research and Outreach, Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity, University of Minnesota, School of Public Health
  • Cristina Gamboa, MD, FACOG
  • P. Mimi Niles, CNM, MPH, PhD
    Assistant Professor & Midwife, New York University
  • Erica Chidi
    Co-Founder & CEO, LOOM
  • Nakeitra Burse, DrPH, CHES
    Owner, Six Dimensions
  • Dr. Jamila K. Taylor, PhD, MPA
    Director of Health Care Reform & Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
  • Jordan S. Woods
    Director of Marketing & Communications, National Birth Equity Collaborative
  • Rachel Hardeman, PhD, MPH
    Founding Director, Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity, University of Minnesota, School of Public Health
  • Kay Matthews, LCHW
    Executive Director, Shades of Blue Project
  • Rebekah E. Gee, MD, MPH
    CEO, LSU Healthcare Services
  • LaShanda Dandrich, IBCLC
    Director of Facilitators, Chocolate Milk Café National
  • Sharmila Makhija, MD, MBA
    Professor & Chair, OB/GYN and Women's Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Kimberly Seals Allers
    Founder, IRTH app
  • Rebecca Polston, CPM, LM
    Midwife/Owner/Director, Roots Community Birth Center
  • Marinah V. Farrell, CPM

Capturing Essential Conversations

With strict health precautions in place over several months, The Choices in Childbirth production team traveled the country filming essential conversations between doulas, midwives, doctors, educators, lactation consultants and parents and families.

In each location, we partnered with community-based organizations and providers to identify individuals who would be comfortable participating, and to explore topics ranging from prenatal care to cesarean birth to the emotional wellbeing of parents and families.

Featured Community Based Organizations

In addition to invaluable guidance on the content by the Working and Advisory Groups, the films feature experts and providers from a wide range of communities on camera. Sincere thanks to these groups for their time, energy and willingness to share their wisdom and insight.

Every Mother Counts

Every Mother Counts is grateful to all of the collaborators, partners, participants and production crew members who brought this series to life. And, Every Mother Counts extends its sincere gratitude to CVS Health for helping fund this initiative.

Learn more about our work here.