The Birth Survey

This is what we have needed for a long time, and I’m so glad it’s finally up and running!!

Go to The Birth Survey, where you can fill out a survey about your most recent birth experience (within the last three years). They do not collect any identifiable information, unless you choose to tell that information in the “free text” comment sections, where you can write whatever you want to about your birth. You can identify your care provider(s) by name, or leave them anonymous if you wish.

This project has already completed “phase I” where they tested it in the New York City area — it was only open to women who gave birth in NYC — and now it’s in the “national” phase. The results for NYC have been compiled (although I’m sure you can continue to fill out the information, if you missed the opportunity before).

I’m just so excited about this! Finally, real women talk about their real births, and what they got or did not get at birth. The survey is fairly in-depth, and includes questions about whether you were induced, or pressured to induce; did you have a planned or unplanned C-section, and was it an emergency; did your care provider give you any information on things like breastfeeding; were your wishes respected; did the care provider treat you with respect, explain things to you, etc. (always, usually, sometimes, rarely, never).

By filling out this survey, you can help other women get the births they want. For instance, let’s say that while you were pregnant, you were told you could have a vaginal birth, but then your doctor insists on a C-section at 38 weeks, or you show up at the hospital in labor, and find out your C-section was scheduled when you were 20 weeks along — other women need to know the “bait and switch” your doctor did! (If your C-section was for medical reasons, that’s different, of course; but I’ve read so many stories of women who were deceived into thinking their doctor agreed with them about X, Y, or Z, and only found out their doctor’s “true colors” when it was too late.) But let’s say that you planned to have an epidural from the get-go, and when you get to the hospital, they don’t let you get one for whatever reason — other women need to know that.

If you’re currently pregnant, then you can save this link, and after you have the baby, you can fill it out. If you have a very nice nurse, or one who is not so nice, you can take names and fill that information in as well.

The government keeps statistics on births, and gathers information from birth certificates; but that doesn’t let you know if your hospital or your doctor is a nice and friendly place to give birth. While this survey asks for some of the same type of information (whether you had a boy or a girl, or a C-section, epidural, episiotomy, etc.), it gives much more information about this other very important aspect of labor and birth — how you are treated while in labor, giving birth, or recovering.


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