|The survey Listening to Mothers II (LM 2) was released in 2006 and reports on U.S. women's childbearing experiences. Conducted for Childbirth Connection by Harris Interactive in partnership with Lamaze International and Boston University School of Public Health, it is the first comprehensive survey of women's childbearing experiences. The survey population is representative of U.S. mothers 18 to 45 who gave birth to a single infant in a hospital, with 1,573 actual participants.
"The predominant picture that emerges from our data," the report states, "is of large segments of this population experiencing clearly inappropriate care."
The majority of women ended up attached to IVs, catheters and fetal monitors. They had their membranes artificially ruptured and were given epidurals. Most of these women had little understanding of the side effects of these interventions, including cesarean and medical inductions. The report also shows that though women understood that they had the right to refuse medical interventions, few did, and many received interventions, such as episiotomies, without their consent.
Just as troubling is what is not being done. A "very tiny minority" of women received all of the care practices that promote natural birth. "With 4 million U.S. births annually, a single percentage point represents about 40,000 mothers and babies per year," the report authors say. Despite the relative health of women in the United States, many women are not getting the uncomplicated births they might expect.