Home or Hospital? Holding the Space for Human Birth, a New TEDx Talk Video


Saraswathi Vedam, RM, FACNM, MSN, Sci D (h.c) is Associate Professor at the Division of Midwifery in the Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia. As a Certified Nurse-Midwife and Registered Midwife, she has cared for families in all birth settings. She serves as Senior Advisor to the MANA Division of Research, ACNM representative to the ACNM/MANA Liaison Council, and Executive Board Member, Canadian Association of Midwifery Educators. Professor Vedam has been active in setting national and international policy on home birth and midwifery education and regulation; providing expert consultations in Mexico, Hungary, Chile, China, Canada, and the United States. As Chair of the historic 2011 Home Birth Consensus Summit Steering Council, she twice convened 68 multi-disciplinary leaders to discuss and develop a common ground agenda for ensuring access and safety across birth settings in the US.

Professor Vedam’s scholarly work includes critical appraisal of the literature on planned home birth, evaluations of provider attitudes, and development of the first US registry of home birth perinatal data. In 2010, she chaired the highly acclaimed 5th International Normal Labour and Birth Research conference in Vancouver, BC. Supported by funding from the Canadian Institute for Health Research, Professor Vedam is currently completing a national, mix-methods study to investigate the experiences and opinions of multidisciplinary maternity care providers’ regarding planned home birth in Canada. She is also co-lead on the $150,000 Vancouver Foundation funded community-based participatory action research project, “Why Midwifery Care?”. She has authored several national clinical practice guidelines and articles on evidence-based midwifery practice in low resource settings, and was a member of the Midwifery Task Force that led a Delphi process to draft the 2012 Joint Statement on Physiologic Labour and Birth.

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