Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.
My project focuses on healthy mothers and their families, who wish to have a normal birth in an out-of hospital setting. Apart from teaching and disseminating information, our organization tries to open an independent birth house. This place should serve the mothers as compromise place between the hospital and homebirth and it also should be an example of good practice. The midwives could learn about normal birth here and the women would find a shelter for such an exceptional event in their lives as the birth is.
Our focus group are mostly the women, who view the birth as a healthy live process, but can not find a proper care in regular healthcare system. As a result they often remain alone, unattended by a professional, as currently the midwives, educated in regular educational system, are often afraid to assist at natural birth out of hospital.
At the moment the mothers who wish to have a care during pregnancy and birth provided by midwives out of hospital, have to pay everything cash, instead being refunded by the health insurance office. They also have to pay cash all the tests and examination recommended by midwives. This is a big discrimination. Currently the Czech government is in a process of adopting a new piece of law, according to which the midwife, who would assist at planned homebirth might be punished by 1000 000 Czk (corresponding to approx. 58 825 USD).
Mothers from all social backgrounds would ask for midwifery services in case they feel normal birth is healthy. Often they safe money to be able to pay cash for it, as they feel it to be so important.
Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project
Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project:
I had finished my midwifery studies in 1981. Till 1996 I had been working in a big Prague hospital – a perinatal center. In 1993, together with my colleague , I went to Sweden to study the epidural analgesia. More than by epidural, I got touched by the approach of Swedish midwives to their clients. Arriving back home, me and my colleague, we thought that it would be easy to bring ideas of individual care and gentle behavior to our working place, if we explain the benefits of it. Instead we were fired from the delivery suite.
I started to do prenatal classes in the same hospital and got a tremendous chance to listen to people – the expecting parents. Their wishes and ideas brought me to the idea to start an Active Birth Centre, where natural birth would be promoted. With 4 colleagues we have succeed to do that in 1998. The centre was working for almost 3 years. Then we have decided to leave the hospital because of working and financial conditions it offered.
Since 2000 I have been working as an independent homebirth midwife. I have started non-profit organization Birth House at Stork.