How we started – “Another Way” Initiative
In early 2014, Natálie Sedlická (a midwife with experience with midwifery from other countries) called another meeting of a group of people with the same intention – to support and create a birthing house in the Czech republic. Synchroniously, Martin Nemrava, a former executive in the automotive industry was approached, to help make that possible, and he became the project manager. Another founding member of Apodac was Lenka Kočí, a psychotherapist focused on group processes.
The first meeting of the newly formed group took place on 17. 3. 2014 at the “A center”(Center for support of expecting and new parents) in Prague. In the following regular meetings we began to analyze the steps we need to take to create the birthing house in the Czech republic. The participants formed the initiative “Another Way”and used the “A Center” as their base. The “A Center” has become the main partner of this initiative and participated in its activities, including participation of the “A Center” founder – Katarina Zatovičová and the director Hany Perglerová.
The group quickly defined the path to reaching the goal in specifying 15 areas to focus on in order to create the first birth house in the Czech republic. It was clear that this is a very complex project requiring a change in consciousness of the whole society. We divided the 15 areas into three successive phases based on priority and importance for the development of the birth house.
Our initiative “Another Way”was first officially introduced to the public at the ICM International Congress in May 2014 in Prague. We also started many other activities and supportive measures. More information about the initiative “Another Way”can be found on www.jakjinak.info or www.facebook.com/jakjinak..
In the first half of 2015 it became obvious that this demanding complex project will be a very long term one. But we wanted to see changes quickly! So we had to start looking at it differently – in line with our motto “Another Way”.
We had to go back to our original goal- building a birth house- and look for ways to do it as fast as possible. Finally, we decided to set up a birth house under the current laws, rules and regulations, although the current Czech legislation is not at all friendly to the idea, and does not offer the possibilities available in developed countries.
We chose a path where we will still continue to strive for change the societal mindset, but instead of waiting to create the birth house once this change happens, we decided to first set up a birth house under existing regulations and begin to demonstrate the advantages by example. We want to prove that care provided in a birthing house provides low-risk women with the (so far missing) continuity of care and comprehensive and holistic approach.
We are convinced that if the birth houses become part of the standard obstetric care, the the number of home births chosen by women for whom the hospital environment is unacceptable will be reduced dramatically. The existing system does not provide any safe support to these women and they are left without the assistance of a skilled healthcare worker.
And so, after careful preparation, on March 10th. 2016, the Association for Birth Houses & Centers was founded with the goal to provide professional support for all emerging birth houses and centers. This association focuses only on three areas:
- Creation of (the network of) birth houses and centers in the Czech Republic
- Training of midwives to work in a birth house
- Communications of facts about obstetric care: www.faktaoporodu.cz
The original project “Another Way” remains an initiative -a community of active people who continue to support the societal changes in obstetric care, changes that have been supported over the years by other organziation like such as the Union of Midwives, Czech Confederation of Midwives, Czech Association of Doulas, Movement for Active Motherhood.
The initiative “Another Way” and “APODAC” are very closely linked on both a personal and professional levels.