Transforming Birth in Our Culture by Understanding, Preventing and Healing Obstetric and Birth Trauma

In this module, participants will explore the complex narratives of birth in our culture and how individual and system wide efforts can save lives, improve health outcomes and change the way people feel about their birth experience. We will examine the history of birth in our culture and its impact on the experiences of patients and healthcare professionals today. Participants will learn about the prevalence of and contributing factors to obstetric mistreatment and birth trauma as well as how to mitigate it. Finally, we will explore the impact of social conditioning and beliefs on one’s perceptions of the birth experience and how to support people to find new meaning in their birth stories.


Learning Objectives:     

At the end of this module, participants will be able to:  


  1. Describe the impact of the 20th century healthcare environment on birth, maternal and newborn experiences and outcomes seen today and how stigma impacts healthcare engagement in the perinatal period  
  2. Examine how the individual and collective assumptions about birth may contribute to an individual’s birth experience and self-belief  
  3. Name the contributing factors and consequences of obstetric abuse/mistreatment and emotional birth trauma  
  4. Identify how self-awareness, new communication strategies/skills and standardized practices can help mitigate obstetric abuse/mistreatment, birth trauma and transform birth in our culture  

Module Structure: 

This module is self-paced and available to any user who registers with the Maine Medical Association Learning Lab. The estimated time to complete is approximately 90 minutes. The module will consist of multiple sub-sections or units and will contain various elements, including hyperlinks to readings and web resources, video lessons, and pre-and post-assessments needed for CME accreditation. 

The Maine Medical Education Trust designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.5  AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Maine Medical Education Trust and Maine Medical Association, Center for Quality Improvement. The Maine Medical Education Trust is accredited by the Maine Medical Association Committee on Continuing Medical Education and Accreditation to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

None of the planners or presenters for this activity have relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Duration & Fee:  FREE for Maine Clinicians 

Estimated Time to Complete: 90 minutes 

(note: the module is divided into short digestible units [10-20 mins] which can be completed in small increments) 

Hardware/Software Requirements: 

  • Computer with Internet connection 
  • Current version of Chrome, Firefox or Safari browser. You must have JavaScript enabled. 
  • The quiz tool within the online modules are not fully compatible with smartphones or tablets. To avoid issues, such as answers not being recorded, we recommend using a computer to complete the pre- and post-tests. 

Assessment and Grading: 

This learning module begins with a Pre-Test that will test your knowledge and allow you to gauge your baseline understanding of the topics to be covered. Your pre-test score will not count toward your overall grade. At the end of the module, there is a Post-Test that will determine your final grade. A comparison of your Pre-Test score and Post-Test score will help to assess how much knowledge you’ve gained. You will have three attempts to complete the Post-Test. Your score must be 75% or better in order to receive the 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Please complete the evaluation survey at the conclusion of the learning module. 

To Obtain 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™: 

  • Complete the entire learning module. 
  • Complete the pre-test, post test, and evaluation survey at the end of the module. 
  • You must earn a score of 75% or higher on the Post-Test in order to qualify for the 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. You will have three attempts to complete the Post-Test. 

Upon completion of the evaluation in Survey Monkey, including the required demographic information, a CME Certificate will be emailed to M.D.s and D.O.s and a CME Certificate of Participation will be emailed to all other learners. These certificates will be emailed within 10 business days of completing the evaluation.

Table of Contents:  The units will consist of the following: 

  • Introduction  
  • Pre-Assessment 
  • Unit 1 – Introduction and Opening Reflections  
  • Unit 2 – The Story of Birth in Our Culture  
    • Unit 2a – The Story Framework 
    • Unit 2b – Historical Story   
    • Unit 2c – Patient Story  
    • Unit 2d – Provider Story  
  • Unit 3 – Transforming Birth Stories  
  • Unit 4 – Case Scenario and Reflections    
  • Unit 5 – Wrap Up, Resources and References  
  • Post-Assessment 

Disclosures: The planners and presenters for this module have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. 

Farrah Sheehan, MSN, RN, IBCLC 
Nurse Educator & Consultant
Farrah Sheehan Perinatal Professional Services, LLC

Amy Carter, BSHA-M 
Maine Medical Association Center for Quality Improvement

Kelly Roberts, RN, MSN 
MCH Project Manager 
Maine Medical Association Center for Quality Improvement 

Funding: This module is made possible by the generous support and funding from our partners at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and HRSA grant number U7AMC46840‐01‐00. 

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