Saving Mothers and Babies

A Film Produced by Richard Wormser and Annie Heminway
Written and Directed by Richard Wormser

Saving Mothers and Babies

Babies are dying. Mothers are dying giving birth.

The United States ranks 27th in infant deaths when compared to infant deaths in other developed countries.

The maternal death rate in the United States exceeds that of every other developed country and continues to rise, while in other industrialized nations the maternal death rate is falling.

A recent study of 8,800 births at free-standing birth centers run by trained midwives and nurse/midwives has shown that no mother has died in those facilities, and the major causes of infant mortality have been cut in half.

Saving Mothers and Babies

Dr. Ruth Watson Lubic

About Dr. Ruth Watson Lubic

MARQUIS Who's Who In America® (excerpts)

Dr. Ruth Watson Lubic is a nurse midwife and a MacArthur Fellow who has championed personalized care during labor and childbirth for all women, particularly those in low-income neighborhoods.

She co-founded the National Association of Childbearing Centers in 1983 and has helped establish more than 300 free-standing birth-centers in the United States, Between 1970 and 1995 Dr. Lubic served as General Director of the eminent Maternity Center Association (MCA) founded by the Women's City Club of New York in 1917. Dr. Lubic led MCA to establish the first freestanding nurse-midwife directed birth center in the United States, the Childbearing Center. Legally sanctioned in 1975, it had 20 years of success. Dr. Lubic rejected the stereotype of the low-income mothers being consistently at high risk. ln a pioneering effort, she established in 1988 a second freestanding birth center in the disadvantaged southwest Bronx.

In addition to achieving improved medical outcomes, the social, familial, and community impact of the care provided Hispanics and Afro-Americans was extraordinary. Many women who gave birth there then became empowered to change their family life and communities through advocacy and involvement in their children's education and healthcare. These demonstrations served as prototypes for the more than 350 freestanding birth centers now operating in this country.

Dr. Lubic's successes brought her to the attention of the MacArthur Foundation receiving it’s so called “genius” award in 1993, the first ever to a nurse/midwife. This enabled her to focus her attention on Washington DC,which has worst maternal and infant outcomes in the United States. After a six-year effort, Dr. Lubic founded the Family Health and Birth Center (under the Developing Families Center "umbrella"), a unique innovative and collaborative model in an African American neighborhood staffed by nurse midwives. Dr. Lubic helped create the One Stop Shopping program at the Center which provides additional support including case management, social services and child care (starting from the baby’s 6th week and ending when the child reaches five.)

Film Trailer

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