Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'm a doula in the second best city for having babies

According to a list released by, Ann Arbor, Michigan ranks only behind Overland Park, Kansas as the city with the healthiest pregnancies. If you're curious what the other 98 listed cities are, the full list appears here.

Interestingly, they don't define what a "healthy pregnancy" is. And looking at the variables they used -- age of mother during pregnancy, for example, or maternal body mass index -- the results may just reflect reproductive demographics rather than localized innovations or care models that affect pregnancy outcomes.

A community cannot control the average age of its mothers, nor whether they have diabetes or are overweight. It can, however, cultivate other features that support healthy mothers and babies. Not suprisingly, my list of such features would include non-hospital-based childbirth education courses, access to fitness programs like pregnancy yoga, availability of and access to doulas, physical and psychological postpartum support options.

Fortunately, Ann Arbor ranks high in many of these areas also. So I can't say I argue with our high ranking. But given the room for improvement I see even in this community, it is disheartening that we've given permission to rest on our laurels rather than pursue perfection.


Blogger Julie said...

Yeah, and I didn't see any midwives or doulas listed in their team of experts.

7:27 AM  
Blogger I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

Ditto Julie.

Interesting list...


10:55 AM  
Blogger mabel said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


1:41 AM  

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