Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What is a Collaborative Care Model?

Safer Midwifery for Michigan is excited to announce our new project called Collaborative Care Initiative!   Collaborative Care Initiative (CCI) is a project aimed at offering safer options for women in the greater Lansing area who value a natural birth experience.  We are working toward establishing a model of maternity care that brings excellence in obstetrics and nurse midwifery together in the safest setting possible, Sparrow Hospital.  Women deserve to be nurtured, accurately educated, informed, supported, and most importantly safe during all phases of maternity care, including prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum phases.  We are aiming for balance in understanding and promoting the inherent value in natural birth, with a staff that can genuinely support it, and simultaneously cultivate an appreciation for the fact that birth doesn’t always work as we plan.  In the event of the latter, we aim to have seamless transfer of care with obstetricians that are experts when birth deviates from being normal or safe.    

Collaborative care represents best practices according to research.  When done well, outcomes have been shown to improve, cesarean rates to decrease, interventions decrease, and greater satisfaction for mothers was reported.  ACOG and ACNM have issued a joint statement advocating for collaborative care models:

“Health care is most effective when it occurs in a system that facilitates communication across care settings and among providers,” according to the joint statement. “Ob-gyns and CNMs/CMs are experts in their respective fields of practice and are educated, trained, and licensed, independent providers who may collaborate with each other based on the needs of their patients. Quality of care is enhanced by collegial relationships characterized by mutual respect and trust, as well as professional responsibility and accountability.”

Effective collaborative care offers both responsible education and appropriate options in a safe environment. Without these options, women seeking a birth with less intervention are turning to unqualified, unregulated, misinformed, fundamentalist midwives and putting their lives at risk in out of hospital birth.  We must find a way to offer more competent, responsible care as people who have concern for the welfare of those in our community.  

Boston Globe recently posted an article entitled, "What Women Want in the Delivery Room". 

Here are examples from our readers of excellence in Collaborative Care from around the country
(Note: We are not officially "recommending" any of these facilities as they represent the opinions of our readers only at this point.  We hope to research more in the near future on this subject to make further recommendations.) 

Collaborative Care is the best model for maternity care! Nurturing, Supportive, SAFE.  Greater Lansing needs collaborative care, women and babies deserve better options.  

Help us make a change!  

Petition coming soon!


  1. Thank you so much for posting this. I'm so glad you are a voice and advocate for positive, tangible options in the birth arena. This gives me encouragement here in Southern California for the future. There is SO MUCH negativity and bad-mouthing of all that is wrong with birth options in the U.S., that this post is a refreshing and necessary change. It would be great to read how health care professionals actually put these successful models in place, the challenges they face, and specifics on how to implement these kinds of programs in places where there might be a lot of resistance.

    1. Hi Laura. Thank you for the great follow up post ideas on this! I hadn't thought of sharing the progress or journey. I'll keep you all informed on how things go!