Happy New Year!

I am a week late in “starting” the New Year as my husband and I added an extra week to our holidays in order to attend the BCS national championship game. The Longhorns came close to pulling off a miracle comeback, but it was not to be. Now I can turn my attention to 2010. I am cautiously optimistic about birth in 2010 for the following reasons:

First, I am looking forward to attending the 2010 Mother-Friendly Childbirth Forum and Annual Meeting scheduled for February 26-27 in Austin, Texas. For those of you unfamiliar with the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS), CIMS is a coalition of birth organizations including AWHONN, ICEA, Lamaze International, and many, many more. Featured speakers for the February meeting include Ricki Lake and Penny Simkin. For more information about CIMS and the 2010 Mother-Friendly Childbirth Forum, visit the CIMS website at www.motherfriendly.org.

Second, I am planning to watch on the Internet the NIH Consensus Development Conference on Vaginal Birth After Cesarean scheduled for March 8-10, 2010. Unlike the 2006 NIH State-of-the-Science Conference on Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request, the goal of the VBAC conference is to explore the issues surrounding VBAC so that an independent panel can prepare and deliver a consensus statement on VBAC. I can’t help but believe that the evidence will support increasing access to VBAC. For more information on the conference, visit consensus.nih.gov.

Third, I am eager to see the impact of the new Joint Commission perinatal quality measures which go into effect in April. Childbirth educators should be instrumental in helping hospitals to develop policies and strategies to help decrease elective deliveries before 39 weeks; to decrease cesarean deliveries for low-risk women; and to increase the percentage of women exclusively breastfeeding upon hospital discharge. For more information about the new perinatal quality measures, visit the Joint Commission website.

And finally, 2010 will bring us the first joint Lamaze International-ICEA conference scheduled for September 30-October 3 in Milwaukee. Both organizations are coming together to celebrate their 50th anniversaries and to unite for the future of birth. For more information, visit www.futureofbirthconference.org.

I hope you are off to a good start in 2010. Visit our blog frequently for reports on the meetings above, book reviews, teaching strategies, and news about birth and breastfeeding. Happy New Year!

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