As with many other communities in the United States, in South Orange County, California expectant mothers have unlimited access to high intervention hospital options for childbirth, including an elective cesarean section, but restricted access to a midwifery model of care in or out of the hospital. However, the Community Alliance for Birth Options (CABO), a non-profit group dedicated to helping families access non-interventive care believes that all expectant mothers should have access to birth options that meet their needs. CABO awards women, with financial hardships or lack of insurance coverage, scholarships to help pay for non-interventive maternity care services of their choice. Research shows that by giving birth with a midwife, having a doula, and giving birth at home or in a birth center women are much less likely to be exposed to the harms of routine medical interventions and less likely to have a cesarean.
In May 2008 the only hospital-based nurse-midwifery service in the community was disbanded when the OB services at South Coast Medical Center closed its doors. However, through donations and by sponsoring annual fundraisers and silent auctions CABO has found a way to provide families with the financial support they need to pay for a doula, choose a certified nurse-midwife as a primary care provider, or give birth in a birth center. Often, health insurance coverage does not include reimbursement for these services.
On December 10, 2010 CABO will hold its Holiday Evening Fundraiser at the Coto De Caza Golf & Racquet Club. Last May CABO awarded three scholarships of up to $3500. All awards are kept confidential.
CABO also provides outreach and education on alternative and complementary maternity services for women. The non-profit’s goals include advocating for evidence-based care, educating the community about the safety of low-interventive birth options, promoting collaborative practice of nurse-midwives and physicians, and advocating for change in the current health care system.
CABO and other birth activist groups who support the midwifery model of care are actively pushing back the medical establishement and insurance companies who control access to and reimbursement for midwifery care, birth centers, doulas, VBAC, and home births.
Watch a video about Beach Cities Midwifery, one option available to families in South Orange County.
Resources For Non-Interventive Care
American Association of Birth Centers
Citizens For Midwifery
The Big Push for Midwives
Where’s My Midwife?