Maternal Health Society (MHS)
Organization profile published 1980

Publisher:  Maternal Health Society (MHS), Vancouver, Canada
Year Published:  1980
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX2095

Connexions has published multiple abstracts on the Maternal Health Society.

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This abstract was published in Connexions Digest in 1980:

Maternal Health Society (MHS) is a volunteer organization devoted to promoting safe choices in childbirth in British Columbia. It was originally organized to survey B.C. hospital practices and lobby for change in obstetrical practices. The society has since widened its horizons to include a maternal health center, a counseling and support service for cesarean parents, and a "healthcare consumer" advocacy role. All MHS's activities are supported by subscriptions to Maternal Health News (sub. $2-$5/year) which "is published to reflect a strong 'consumer voice' about current issues in maternal/child health care". Each issue of this newsletter contains regular sections entitled. "International Childbirth Education Association", "Cesarean Birth Group" and "Sharing".

One section in the September edition of the newsletter is entitled "Midwifery". It contains, among other things, an article about the recent formation of the B.C. Association of Midwives; this association has as an eventual goal the legalization and recognition of the occupation of midwifery in British Columbia. Membership is open to midwives, obstetric nurses and others involved in maternal/child health. The association has also chosen to ally itself with other such efforts in B.C.

The September issue also outlines MHS's plan to send questionnaires to every obstetrician in B.C. and to general and family practitioners in the Victoria and Lower Mainland areas. Doctors will be asked to answer more than 20 questions about the prenatal care they provide, the childbirth options they support and their attitudes on several controversial issues. MHS believes that this Doctor Survey, which will be published in October 1980, will be of value to both women and physicians.

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This abstract was published in Connexions Digest in 1982:

The Maternal Health Society (MHS) is a non-profit society composed of consumers and professionals interested in maternal/child health care.

Its stated aims are:

1) to promote flexible responsive health care for the family during the childbearing cycle, care which will optimize physical and emotional well-being.

2) to support parents in their efforts to make informed decisions in the health care they receive.

3) to disseminate current information to consumers and health professionals on health care during the childbearing cycle.

4) to work with government and regulatory bodies in making decisions related to health care connected with the childbearing cycle.

5) to obtain consumer feedback regarding health care needs, and to promote consumer input into health care planning and delivery.

MHS is involved in the following activities related to maternal/child health care:

- running a film library and lending service

- holding quarterly meetings to connect people working in the field

- currently planning and organizing a spring event on the issue of women's rights in birthing

- publishing an annual Doctor Directory of those supportive of changes in the medical system in this area.

Maternal Health News (MHN), the newspaper of MHS, presents issues for discussion and information on current events. The Winter 1981 edition features a "grieving symposium" for parents and doctors involved in the fifty percent of all conceived pregnancies that end in loss. Other articles show how welfare cutbacks cause hardship for families and give information and graphics on labour and delivery.

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