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Dawn Thompson’s Tips for Having an Empowered Birth

Dawn Thompson's Tips for Having an Empowered Birth
Photo Courtesy: Dawn Thompson

By: Joshua Finley

As a doula with over 300 births under her belt, Dawn Thompson witnessed firsthand the unnecessary harm caused by the medicalization of childbirth. “I was a witness for ten years, working in maternity care, seeing what was happening to women unnecessarily over and over again, and it was causing harm. I got fed up with it,” she recalls. This dissatisfaction fueled her passion to make a change, leading to the creation of Birthify, an organization dedicated to providing comprehensive support and expert guidance to families throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.

Dawn’s extensive experience in the hospital environment exposed a troubling gap between best practices in maternity care and the reality of hospital procedures. She observed that many women were subjected to major surgeries and medical interventions that were often unnecessary. “There was such a drastic difference between what I was learning through training, what the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines said, and what research indicated versus what was actually happening in hospitals,” she explains. This discrepancy was driven by financial motivations, time constraints, and liability concerns, turning the natural physiological process of childbirth into a medical event far more often than necessary.

Empowering Mothers through Education and Support

Birthify is fundamentally about empowering mothers through education and extending crucial support into the postpartum period. Dawn believes well-informed parents are better prepared to make choices that suit their unique needs and those of their babies. “If more families had full access to information, their choices would reflect that knowledge,” she notes. By providing comprehensive details on childbirth options and postpartum care, Birthify helps mothers confidently navigate and advocate within the medical system, ensuring they and their babies receive the support they need.

Dawn Thompson

Photo Courtesy: Dawn Thompson

Dawn’s Tips for Empowered Birth Choices

Drawing from her experience, Dawn offers three essential tips for mothers to help them make empowered choices during childbirth:

Understand the Evidence

Knowledge is power. Dawn emphasizes the importance of understanding the evidence behind childbirth practices. “It’s crucial to have a true, educated discussion with your provider,” she says. She encourages mothers to research and bring evidence-based information to their appointments, ensuring that the latest and most reliable data inform their choices. “Sometimes, you can know more than your doctor about certain aspects because they don’t always have the time to keep up with the latest research,” she adds, leaving families stuck in the “we’ve always done it this way” pattern of care. 

Communicate Effectively

Creating good communication between the mother and the healthcare provider is essential. Dawn suggests using the BRAIN acronym (Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, and Need Time) to facilitate these discussions. This framework helps mothers ask the right questions and weigh their options carefully. “When people are given comprehensive information about the risks, benefits, and alternatives, they frequently make different decisions,” Dawn says.

Maintain Your Power

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in a hospital setting, but Dawn advises mothers to maintain their power and advocate for their needs. “We tend to take on a passive position because the ‘doctor knows best’ mentality is ingrained in us,” she explains. Instead, they urge mothers to assert their preferences clearly and ask how they can achieve their desired childbirth experience. “Don’t ask for permission; state what you want and ask how it can be done,” she emphasizes. 

The Impact of Birthify

Through Birthify, Dawn aims to reduce unnecessary medical interventions and improve childbirth outcomes. By educating mothers and advocating for better maternity care practices, she hopes to see a significant decrease in the rates of unnecessary C-sections and inductions. Research has proven that doula support significantly improves outcomes, which Birthify has seen, even though they exclusively offer virtual support. “I want to see those national statistics change based on the things that we help people with,” she says.

Dawn’s vision extends beyond individual births to broader systemic changes. She has been involved in legislative work through organizations like Mom Congress and March for Moms, advocating for policies that support maternal health, such as parental leave.

Empowering Mothers 

Dawn Thompson’s dedication to improving maternity care has already made a significant impact through Birthify. She fosters a generation of informed and confident parents by empowering mothers with knowledge and encouraging them to advocate for their choices. As Dawn continues championing better birth and postpartum experiences, her legacy will undoubtedly inspire many more to follow in her footsteps.

Learn more about Birthify by visiting their website at

Published by: Nelly Chavez

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