Frequently Asked Questions
1. "What is The Birth Survey ? How do I use the site?"
The Birth Survey is a not-for-profit project of the Grassroots Advocates Committee (GAC) of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS). We aim to strengthen the consumer voice and make information about maternity care providers, hospitals, birth centers, medical interventions, and normal childbirth available to all women. For more information about CIMS, GAC, and The Birth Survey , please see our About Us page.
The Birth Survey is a Web-based survey instrument designed to permit consumers to provide
information regarding their experiences utilizing the services of physicians, midwives, and health care facilities. This
survey is available to any woman who has given birth in the US in the last three years.
Aggregated survey information was made available to consumers, providers, and others who choose to access this site as of spring of 2009. If you are interested in learning more about providers of birthing services, you can use our search engine to look up practitioners and facilities in your area. You will be able to search by category or by name. Once you've done your research here, please look at the CIMS website to learn more about the Mother Friendly Childbirth Initiative and the ten questions to ask your care provider.
Being an informed consumer of pregnancy and birth care and asking questions will help you obtain the best care. Of course, this site is in no way a substitute for prenatal or other healthcare services. The Birth Survey is intended to be one tool to help consumers gather information about birthing services and providers. Please do not depend on this or any other survey as your single source of information, but instead, use other resources available to you and, ultimately, make your own informed judgment.
If you have already given birth, please fill out our survey so that we can host the most accurate and complete information possible.
2. "I represent a hospital/birth center. I believe that the information posted about my facility is incorrect. What should I do?"
If you would like to update your name, address or phone number please email email@example.com.
The Birth Survey hosts information provided to us by the Department of Health of the state in which your facility is located as well as by clients/patients. Because the goal of the site is to inform women about birth attendants and facilities, we do not remove information about either from the site unless the information has been proven inaccurate or incorrect. If you believe the information listed about your facility is incorrect, you have two possible courses of action. We encourage you to pursue one or both of these:
1. Encourage all of your facility's clients/patients to post here so that one or two positive OR negative comments do not bias the results.
2. Discuss any matters regarding the official reporting of intervention rates with your state's Department of Health.
In the near future, you will be able to post a "Facility Profile" on our site. The profile will allow you to describe your facility or to respond to any information you consider inaccurate or incorrect. This profile will then be made available in the reports
3. "If I use your site, will I have a good birth outcome?"
There is absolutely no way for The Birth Survey , or anyone else, to guarantee any particular outcome for any birth. Our intended role is to make publicly available information accessible to consumers in a centralized location. The site is designed as a tool for information on providers and facilities. This information, however, is only a starting point. The information provided by this website is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or constitute advice or treatments by your own health professional. CIMS, GAC, and the volunteers who staff The Birth Survey site urge you to rely on the advice, care, and treatment of your own health professional.
4. "Are all practitioners listed on the site? I can't seem to find mine."
It is The Birth Survey's policy to try to list only those practitioners who are licensed to attend births legally and to seek survey data regarding only those procedures that are performed legally in a particular state. To this end, we try to only list physicians, certified nurse midwives, and direct-entry midwives who hold a license to practice and we do not list direct-entry midwives who practice in states where we know that direct entry midwifery is un-regulated. This policy does not guarantee or promise a good outcome; it simply eliminates those practitioners who are not licensed to attend births. Learn more about the status of midwifery in your area, including legal status, local organizations and resources at http://www.cfmidwifery.org/states .
Please verify your doctor's licensure with your state medical board or with the American Medical Association at www.ama-assn.org/go/doctorfinder . To verify his or her certification status, please go to the American Board of Medical Specialties at www.abms.org. Of course, we recognize that our sources of information regarding state licensure may not necessarily be 100% complete, and may omit some licensed practitioners. If you do not find your provider's name here, but you believe he or she is licensed in your state, please provide his or her name and other relevant practice information where prompted in the survey.
5. "How often is data updated to the site? Is it always accurate?"
Survey data from a single user will remain in our search results for five years from the date of the baby's birth. We strive to update data from public sources, such as Departments of Health, once a year. If, however, new data is not available to us, then the data for the most recent year will be displayed. We make every effort to ensure that the data on the site is the best available data, but even public records can be incomplete or inaccurate, and health professionals may move to other locations, obtain practice privileges at other healthcare facilities, or even leave a particular state. We urge all providers and patients/clients who use this site to bring updated information to our attention so that the information remains accurate and useful for consumers. To make us aware of updated information please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org .