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Action Steps for the COVID-19 Crisis

Action Steps for the COVID-19 Crisis

The American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) and the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC) are leading an initiative to help systems address surge capacity and improve safety by diverting low-risk, pregnant patients to temporary Auxiliary Maternity Units.  AABC and CABC have developed Guidelines for Auxiliary Maternity Units as well as a letter outlining five recommendations. 

Read the press release here>>


Guidelines for Auxiliary Maternity Units

Guidelines for Auxiliary Maternity UnitsHealthy pregnant persons and babies are being affected by exposure to COVID-19 and the consequences of hospital surge capacity.  Communities across the country are grappling with how to care for and protect childbearing families when hospitals are full and overloaded. AABC and CABC have responded by developing guidelines to support the implementation of temporary Auxiliary Maternity Units during this COVID-19 crisis.

AABC and CABC are experts in low-risk birth and conceptualized the Auxiliary Maternity Unit to meet the needs of childbearing families and health care systems. The guidelines provide minimum safety standards necessary for establishing these temporary units. AABC and CABC have developed and implemented standards and measures for the accreditation of freestanding birth centers and alongside midwifery units. They represent midwifery, nursing, obstetrics, maternal/fetal medicine, neonatology, and consumers.

Download the Guidelines for Auxiliary Maternity Units>>

For more information on the Guidelines for Auxiliary Maternity Units, contact AABC at 215.234.8068, or CABC at 877.241.0262, 

Sign-On Recommendation Letter

In addition to the Guidelines for Auxiliary Maternity Units, AABC and CABC offered five recommendations in a sign-on letter sent to governors, state health departments and influencers who can help local teams in their communities.  These recommendations include:

  1. Create Auxiliary Maternity Units to expand capacity, reduce potential exposure and limit depletion of necessary critical care resources.
  2. Expand the capacity of existing freestanding birth centers for low-risk women. 
  3. Expand utilization of licensed and/or certified midwives to practice to the full extent of their certification in all states and all facilities. 
  4. Integrate doulas and other community-based perinatal health workers to provide education and support during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and the postpartum periods.
  5. Implement a community-based postpartum and newborn management plan that provides early discharge with safe follow-up care.

National organizations signing on to the letter include Ariadne Labs, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP), Pacific Business Group on Health, Lamaze International, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, National Association of Certified Professional Midwives, National Partnership for Women & Families, Ancient Song Doula Services, Centering Healthcare Institute, DONA International, Every Mother Counts, Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery, ImprovingBirth, Jewish Healthcare Foundation, March for Moms, Mom Congress, National Doula Network, Our Bodies Ourselves, and Women’s Health Activist Movement Global. 

Read the letter here>>

AABC and CABC welcome additional organizations and individuals to sign-on to the letter.  Sign-on now>>

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