Maternal Safety Foundation Announces Maternal Center of Excellence Recognition Program, Calls Attention to “VBAC Deserts”

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 17, 2019

 

Contact: Jill Arnold

Executive Director

(479) 385-7977

info@maternalcoe.org

 

 

Maternal Safety Foundation Announces Maternal Center of Excellence Recognition Program, Calls Attention to “VBAC Deserts”

 

ROGERS, Ark. --The Maternal Safety Foundation today announced two programs designed to address the needs of the nearly 600,000--or 15 percent--of patients every year giving birth with a previous cesarean in the United States: the VBAC Access Guide database, a growing registry of data about whether hospitals make vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) available, and a Maternal Centers of Excellence recognition program.

The VBAC Access Guide visualizes data which suggest that many patients with a history of cesarean birth might have to drive more than one hour to a facility for the option to labor. “In some states, almost 20 percent of the birthing population annually has had a previous cesarean. This view of areas without routinely available VBAC options, or ‘VBAC deserts,’ will help state agencies, public health organizations, and hospitals identify opportunities to improve risk-appropriate options for patients,” said Jill Arnold, Executive Director of the Maternal Safety Foundation.

The Maternal Center of Excellence recognition programs, one for VBAC Centers of Excellence and one for Accreta Centers of Excellence, share the goal of helping families find safe, risk-appropriate care.

The Foundation identified a critical need for safe options for the population of women giving birth after having had a previous cesarean, the proportion of which as tripled since 1980. “Whether seeking a VBAC or planning a repeat cesarean birth, patients need options for safe delivery when they seek to expand their families,” said Kisha Semenuk, MSN, RN, and MSF Advisory Board Member. These essential new programs were informed by multidisciplinary patient safety and quality experts, as well as experienced consumer advocates.

 

ABOUT MATERNAL SAFETY FOUNDATION

The Maternal Safety Foundation was founded in 2018 to improve maternal health care in the United States. The Foundation's other actionable strategies have included designing and submitting a patient safety bundle on Safe Care for Patients with a Previous Cesarean Birth to the Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care at ACOG in May 2019. Information about the Safe Care for Patients with a Previous Cesarean Birth Initiative, VBAC Access Guide and the Maternal Centers of Excellence recognition program can be found online at www.maternalcoe.org.

 

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Jill Arnold