Welcome to Parenting and Childbirth
Established in 1973, Parenting and Childbirth is an organization that brings together parents, parents-to-be, as well as healthcare and other professionals who specialize in pregnancy, childbirth and infancy. Our mission is to ensure that pregnancy, childbirth and the early childhood years are both physically and psychologically satisfactory for parents as well as children.
Our goals are:
- To allow parents to share their experiences.
- To communicate the wishes and demands of parents to professionals and politicians.
- To support parents in their personal choices though information, inspiration and counselling.
- Parenting and Childbirth is the only organization in Denmark devoted to helping and supporting breastfeeding mothers through networking, information and peer counseling. The first level of support is our newsletter, featuring personal breastfeeding experiences and information; the second consists of mothers’ groups that meet locally and on our e-mail lists to share their experiences. The third level is our breastfeeding peer counselors who are available by phone or on the internet in the daytime and early evening for personal, free and anonymous counseling. Counseling is available to members and non-members alike.
- Parenting and Childbirth publishes ten newsletters annually. The newsletters are written mainly by parents themselves, and contain birth stories, debates about parenting topics, book reviews and breastfeeding information. They often feature articles by health care professionals or other experts and material that may be relevant or interesting to parents or parents-to-be. Many of these newsletters are special issues that focus in-depth on particular subjects, e.g., "Nursing Newborns," "C-Sections," "Preemies," and "Giving Birth at Home."
- In Parenting and Childbirth we believe that parents need the support, knowledge and inspiration of other parents who have experienced problems or situations similar to their own. Our peer counselors cover more than 50 subjects, from serious medical problems like hemophilia or postnatal depression to childbirth, parenting or family issues such as homebirth, attachment parenting, or bilingualism. Peer counselors are always available to give advice or to just talk things through. All peer counselors have personal experience with their subjects.
- To further assist parents seeking information about breastfeeding, parenting or medical problems, Parenting and Childbirth has published a series of brochures that are distributed to health care venues across the country or can be ordered by phone or online. Moreover, articles from our newsletter are available online, and back issues may be ordered as long as they are in stock.
- Birthing pools and chairs and a variety of videos in Danish, Swedish and English can be rented or borrowed from Parenting and Childbirth.
- Parenting and Childbirth represents parents and parents-to-be in political and policy making fora such as the Healthcare Committee of the Danish Folketing (Folketingets Sundhedsudvalg) and the National Health Service (Sundhedsstyrelsen). In response to the proposed guidelines concerning prenatal diagnostics we prepared a position paper for the National Health Service recommending among other things that more research be carried out with a view towards providing evidence-based care.
- In order to improve the quality of maternity services in Denmark, Parenting and Childbirth has started the Childbirth Lobby where parents and midwives collaborate to lobby politicians. There is a considerable gap between the guidelines of the National Health Service and the services offered by the various counties. The quality of maternity services in Denmark is currently declining, as small, often baby-friendly hospitals are being closed and funding to midwife services (such as individual visits and birthing classes) is being cut. The Childbirth Lobby strives to mitigate the damage done by budget cuts and to secure continuity of services throughout pregnancy, childbirth and the post-natal period. To this end we are working on alternative organizational forms such as the Know-your-Midwife Scheme and on the dissemination of information to parents as well as politicians.
- Parenting and Childbirth endorses the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative, which provides guidelines for identifying and designating "mother-friendly" birth sites, and promotes a model of maternity care that focuses on prevention and wellness as the alternatives to high-cost screening, diagnosis, and treatment programs.