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Family of five holding hands in front of a sunset with an quote: If not us the who? If not now, then when?

Getting motivated - what’s important to you?

To know where you can make a difference, you must start by identifying what’s important to you.

We know that a transformation in the way pregnancy, birth and postnatal care is provided is necessary in many places around the world. We also know how we can make a difference: The Lancet Series on Midwifery (which we’ve discussed throughout this course) estimated that in low resource areas, a 25% increase in midwifery coverage could reduce maternal mortality by 50% globally. That’s huge! It translates to millions of lives saved.

And as we’ve seen, it’s not just lives saved - it’s the tangible and intangible benefits that come from relational continuity of care for women, midwives, and our health system overall that will make the real difference in any setting. Creating a maternity care system that works starts with relationship-based care, and it’s vital that we act now.

If not you - who?

Many of us feel helpless when looking at the task ahead. We may think that someone else will do it, someone more qualified, more powerful - that ‘they’ are in a position to make changes while we are not. But who are ‘they’? Consider the words of Toyin Saraki, the goodwill ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) who challenges people when driving maternity reform saying: “If not you - who?” (T. Saraki, 5 June, 2014).

As we saw in the last step, anyone can make a contribution: the challenge is knowing what your contribution could be and how to achieve it. This starts with examining your own personal values and philosophy so you know what’s important to you, then following this up by setting clear achievable goals. Being clear on your personal values, beliefs and philosophy around birth keeps you motivated to continue with your action plan toward achieving the goals you set for maternity reform.

Over to you

Values can encompass many different areas. The first to consider are your own personal values and beliefs around birth.

  • Take a moment to write down what you believe and value in pregnancy, birth and postnatal care.
  • Consider why you have those beliefs, and where they came from.

Next, consider your own values and motivation around contributing to the improvement of maternity care in our world.

  • How might having a radically improved maternity care system impact your life?
    • The lives of your family and friends?
    • Our communities, societies, our world?
  • What drives you to want to make a difference?

Share your most important values and beliefs about birth and maternity care in the comments. What motivates you to make changes in the maternity care system?

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This article is from the free online course:

Maternity Care: Building Relationships Really Does Save Lives

Griffith University

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