Fundraisers, Willow Wish Story

Willow Wish Stories – June 2019

The U.S. is the only country in which the maternal mortality rate is increasing instead of decreasing. Programs like Willow Wish make it possible for more birthing people to access safe choices in an out-of-hospital setting.

Katie’s Story:

Photo Credit: Alisha Hunsaker Photography

The birth center and home birth world are a new world for me. When I found out I was pregnant, it was almost instinctual desire to give birth in a birth center, or at least I knew I did not want a hospital birth.

Mostly, my decision was based on the knowledge I had of my own mother’s birth experiences, family, and friends’ birth stories, and additionally from my own (past) adverse experiences of feeling out of control of my own body. My mind has gathered the knowledge that hospitals do not traditionally practice a women-centered approach to birthing. It’s because of the stories of others, and my own self-awareness that I felt compelled to make the best decision for myself, my fiancé, and our baby.

This was difficult for my family to initially embrace, because they had a fear-based knowledge of birth. I did my research and shared what I could find. My fiancé had his own fear as well and was shocked at what he learned about hospital births vs birth center/home births when he did his own research. My family has found ease with my decision through my self-advocacy and their own investigation.

This is my first pregnancy and my first child. I feel that my initial strides into this new exploration have been courageous. I have maintained self-awareness to advocate for myself. I have remained open to support others who may still hold fear-based birthing beliefs, and I know my story will only strengthen my understanding and ability to advocate for others in a whole family manner.

We want to express our deepest gratitude for this extraordinary grant. This is such an incredible gift to receive for our first child! This gift will bring so much ease of mind from a financial perspective at this time in our life, and will help us build our new family on a strong foundation from the start. We are truly filled with joy after receiving your email that we are recipients of a Willow Wish Gift. Smiles, hugs, kisses, & happy tears all around! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

What the evidence shows:

  • Finances are often cited as reason expectant mothers do not go to birth centers, even when they would like to.
  • The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality, neonatal mortality, and infant mortality rates among all developed countries. 
  • The U.S. is the only country in which the maternal mortality rate is increasing instead of decreasing. 
  • The Strong Start initiative study [1] showed that maternal and infant outcomes can be improved, even among low-income women with a variety of life challenges. It demonstrated that birth centers and the midwifery model provide better outcomes for mothers and babies and reduce costs compared with typical care, and that women are highly satisfied with birth center care. 
  • A landmark study published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, [2] shows that birth centers provide first-rate care to healthy pregnant women in the U.S.

[1] United States Breastfeeding Committee

[2] Alliman, J. and Phillippi, J. C. (2016), Maternal Outcomes in Birth Centers: An Integrative Review of the Literature. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 61: 21-51. doi:10.1111/jmwh.12356

Are you ready to make a difference?

Join us on #GivingTuesday – we have several donors who have started campaigns on Facebook.

  1. Double your impact by giving – two of our sponsors have pledged to match funds up to $2000
  2. Triple your impact by setting your alarm – Facebook will match pledges that are given anytime after 8:00 am EST (that’s 6:00 am AZ TIME) until they reach $7 million 
  3. The Facebook Match was completed within two hours in 2018, so we really mean it when we are asking you to set your alarms.  

Our #GivingTuesdayWish is to raise $6000 – $2000 from our community, $2000 from our matching sponsors, and $2000 from Facebook.

With your help, every amount is going to make a difference. Thank you for being a part of this incredible movement that is granting birth choice in Arizona.

Warm Wishes,
Willow Wish Fundraising Team


#GrantingBirthChoice #WillowWish #GivingTuesdayWish

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