Expert Guidance For an Empowered Birth

pregnant woman

Table of contents

  • Intro
  • Knowledge + Power: The Impact of Informed Choices on Birth Outcomes
  • Panel of Experts
  • Why This Topic?
  • Why You Should Watch the Recording?
  • Additional Resources

0 min read


Needed is a thoughtful nutrition company on a mission to create broader nourishment through better supplements, fundamentals focused education, and community. We empower mamas and mamas-to-be to better identify nutrition needs, and to address them through products that work better in the body and in daily life. 

Last year, we launched an event series called Nourishment Beyond Nutrition is Needed that combines expert-led education with womens’ circle-like sharing, on a range of topics related to supporting mamas and mamas-to-be. The conversations often expand beyond nutrition, as nutrition alone is not enough for full nourishment. We believe the most empowering (and therefore nourishing) ways we can support our community are in i) providing education that empowers women to know the facts (not just others’ opinions, or fad-driven information), and 2) bringing women together with health practitioners and other experts, as there is great comfort in shared experience and knowing we are not alone. 

We’ve recorded several of these events, and are excited to share these powerful conversations with our broader Needed community. 

Knowledge + Power: The impact of informed choices on birth outcomes 

September 26, 2019 at Hatch in Brentwood, Los Angeles

Replay available here 

Panel of Experts

- Dr. Julie Cantor, MD, JD, UCLA Law Faculty + Reproductive Rights Expert

- Paula Goldstein, Director, Born Free

- Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, Integrative OB-GYN

In conversation with Ivy Joeva, Doula, Fertility Coach + Birth Educator

Why this Topic?

Maternal mortality rates are shockingly high in the United States. Knowledge about how to support yourself and your loved ones in exercising legal rights to get the maternal care that’s needed is vitally important in reducing these rates. This topic is critical not only for mamas-to-be, but also for birth workers in caring for their patients.

Informed consent means that in birth (as in any other practitioner / patient situation) before performing any medical intervention, your practitioner must explain:

  • The nature of the proposed treatment
  • The risk/benefits/uncertainties of the treatment
  • Reasonable alternatives to the treatment
  • The material risks/benefits/uncertainties related to each alternative
  • Answers to any additional questions you have

You then have the right to accept or refuse care, to change your mind and elect to proceed with care later, and to revoke your prior consent to proceed. 

US law ensures your right to informed consent. However, informed consent is most often not effectively performed as part of the birth process. Knowing your legal rights and choices in advance of birth is key to improving informed consent outcomes and the feeling of an empowered birth. We hope to give you the tools to make sure that choice is kept in a mother’s hands.

Why you should watch the recording? 

The event covered: the written law around informed consent, the differences between the law and what is actually happening, reasons for the disparity, and what you can do as a parent or birth worker to keep a mother’s rights in tact. 

Dr. Julie, Paula, Dr. Suzanne, and Ivy share a depth and diversity of knowledge about birth and the choices made in birth. The room was also filled with mothers-to-be and other birth workers including doulas, midwives, and doctors. Everyone in the room contributed to a passionate, highly informative, and authentic conversation. 

We hope that the conversation will leave you empowered and compelled to learn more and to be the best advocate for yourself, your partner, or your patients and clients. There is one opportunity to deliver a baby. There should be no shame in striving to meet a mother’s needs.

Additional Resources

Dr. Cantor's blog post on The Knowledge You Need for the Birth You Want

Participants also received informed consent support cards (wallet-sized, to have handy anytime), covering facts and tips to support informed consent and optimal birth outcomes. 

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