S. Vedam, B.A., Sci D (Amherst), C.N.M., R.N., M.S.N. (Yale), PhDc (University of Sydney)

Professor Saraswathi Vedam is Lead Investigator of the Birth Place Lab and Professor of Midwifery, in the Faculty of Medicine at University of British Columbia. She has been a clinician and educator for over 30 years. Her scholarly work includes the CIHR-funded Canadian Birth Place Study examining attitudes to home birth among maternity care providers; and Changing Childbirth in BC, a provincial, community-based participatory study of women’s preferences for maternity care. She lead the Access and Integration Maternity care Mapping (AIMM)Study on the impact of integration of midwives on maternal-newborn outcomes, and the Giving Voice to Mothers Study that explored experiences of maternity care among women of color, and those who plan home births. To apply her findings to pragmatic tools that improve person-centered care, she developed MAPi, the Movement and Pulse index that assesses fetal well-being, and the quality measures: the Mothers’ Autonomy in Decision Making (MADM) scale and the Mothers on Respect (MORi) index, which received the 2017 National Quality Forum Innovation Prize. In collaboration with multi-disciplinary expert panel and colleagues from University of Technology Sydney, she also developed the Birth Place Research Quality (ResQu) Index, a novel critical appraisal tool.Professor Vedam is currently PI of national CIHR-funded national research project to evaluate respectful maternity care, Giving Voice to Mothers-Canada.

Professor Vedam has been active in setting national and international policy on place of birth, and midwifery education and regulation. She has provided expert consultations to policy makers in Mexico, Hungary, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Canada, the US, and India. She was Convener and Chair of 3 national Home Birth Consensus Summits. At these historic summits a multi-stakeholder group of leaders (clinicians, consumers, policymakers, legislators, researchers, ethicists, and administrators) crafted a common agenda to address equitable access to high quality care across birth settings in the United States. In 2010, she chaired the 5th International Normal Labour and Birth Research conference in Vancouver.

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Attitudes of maternity care providers towards planned home birth; fetal health surveillance