Ventura, CA – As part of its efforts to advance improvements in health care, in 2018, the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) launched My Birth Matters, a statewide campaign designed to educate expectant mothers about cesarean (c-section) delivery and encourage conversations between them, their doctor, and their care team. Recently, Ventura County Health Care Agency (VCHCA) and Mixteco Indigena Community Organization Project (MICOP) partnered with CHCF to translate this important message into the Mixteco dialect.
While a c-section can be critical, and even lifesaving in certain circumstances, many women are unaware that it is major surgery that comes with serious health risks and should only be performed when necessary.
Created in partnership with the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC) and Consumer Reports, the My Birth Matters campaign is part of a broader statewide effort to lower rates of low-risk, first-birth c-sections in California hospitals.
"The campaign's goal is to educate women about the overuse of c-sections and encourage conversations between expectant moms and their providers. This collaboration with VCHCA – in which they translated the campaign’s videos for pregnant women into Mixteco – is helping to educate even more women than we were previously able to reach,” said Stephanie Teleki, PhD, MPH, who leads California Health Care Foundation's maternity care portfolio.
The campaign offers publicly-available educational materials in English, Spanish, and nine additional languages – including brochures and posters – designed to be displayed in medical offices and settings where expectant mothers are present. At the centerpiece of the campaign are short animated videos (approximately two minutes each) that educate women about c-sections and encourage them to share their birth preferences. Now, Mixteco patients are included in the outreach of two of those videos, with translated versions of the video narrated by a new mom and by a labor and delivery nurse available.
“The campaign is designed to give mothers with a full range of health literary levels the language and tools needed to discuss their delivery preferences, including in Mixteco now,” Dr Teleki said.
Overuse of c-sections matters. For mothers, it can result in higher rates of hemorrhage, transfusions, infection, and blood clots. And once a mother has had a c-section, she has a greater than 90% chance of having one again for subsequent births, leading to higher risks of major complications. The surgery also brings risks for babies, including higher rates of infection, respiratory complications, neonatal intensive care unit stays, and lower breastfeeding rates.
To view the informational videos in all languages, visit CHCF’s My Birth Matters YouTube page.