Saraswathi Vedam is Associate Professor of Midwifery and Lead Investigator of the Birth Place Lab, at the University of British Columbia. While Director of the UBC Midwifery Program from 2007-2012, she led the curriculum renewal that led to support from the BC Ministries of Health and Advanced Education for expansion of the program.
She has been a clinician and a health professional educator for over 30 years. Her scholarly work includes the national, CIHR-funded Canadian Birth Place Study examining attitudes to place of birth among maternity care providers; and Changing Childbirth in BC, a provincial, community-based participatory study of women’s preferences for maternity care. She has developed clinical screening and quality measures including, MAPi, the Movement and Pulse index for assessment of fetal well-being, the Mother’s Autonomy in Decision Making (MADM) scale and the MOR (Mothers on Respect) index. Currently, she is leading multi-disciplinary teams in the US Birth Place Mapping Study to describe the status of licensure and integration of midwives in the United States; and the Giving Voice to Mothers Study to explore the unique experiences of families from communities of color, and families who plan home births, across North America.
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.
My interests in patient-centered, evidence-based perinatal care have led me to study, speak and publish about home birth practice and aspects of care which are especially relevant to midwifery practice. Midwife attended planned home births and birth center births are venues in which midwives practice in an independent and interdependent management role, and hence, can observe the effects of applying the best available evidence and collaborating with clients and colleagues on individualized plans for perinatal care. Describing the characteristics of normal birth, the midwifery process of care, and integration of the midwifery model of care into the health care system are the areas of my scholarship.
Vedam S, Stoll K, Martin, KK, Rubashkin N, Partridge S, Thordarson D Jolicoeur G & the CCinBC Steering Council. (2017) The Mother’s Autonomy in Decision Making (MADM) scale: Patient-led development and psychometric testing of a new instrument to evaluate experience of maternity care. PLOS ONE, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/
Vedam S, Stoll K, Rubashkin N, Martin K, Cristofi N, Hayes-Klein H, Miller-Vedam Z, Jolicoeur G and the CCinBC Steering Council. (2017) The Mothers on Respect (MOR) index: measuring quality, safety, and human rights in childbirth. Social Science and Medicine: Population Health. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.
Vedam S. (2016) Undisturbed Birth: Addressing Quality and safety in the United States. California Association of Midwives Annual General Meeting, Tahoe, CA.
Vedam S. (2016) Whose agenda and whose destiny? Enhancing quality, validity, and reliability in survey design. Master Class. University of Technology Sydney, Australia. April 5.
Vedam S. (2016) Person-centered maternity care: Measuring autonomy and respect in high resource countries. University of Sydney, Interprofessional Rounds, Royal Women’s Hospital. Sydney, Australia.
Vedam S, Stoll K, Schummers L et al. (2016) The Canadian Birth Place Study: Understanding conflict and controversy among maternity providers. Place of Birth Seminar, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. April 29.
Vedam S. (2016) In search of common ground: the Home Birth Summit model for change. Place of Birth Seminar, University of Technology, Sydney, April 29.
Vedam S, (2016) Stoll K, Jolicouer G, Martin K et al. Person-Centered Maternity Care: Measuring Autonomy and Respect in North America. Canadian Association of Midwives Annual General Meeting, Victoria, British Columbia.
Vedam S, (2016) MacDorman M, Stoll K, DeClercq E, Cheyney M, Fisher T, et al. Mapping Integration of Midwives and Access to Physiologic Birth across 50 states. International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress, Toronto, Canada, abstract accepted.
Vedam S, (2017) Stoll K, Monroe S, Jennie Joseph J, Paula Rojas P, Roberta Eaglehorse R, Strauss N, DeClercq E. et al. The Giving Voice to Mothers Study: Measuring Respectful Maternity Care in North America. International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress, Toronto, Canada, abstract accepted.
McRae D, Muhajarine N, Stoll K, Mayhew M, Vedam S, Mpofu D, Janssen P. (2016) Is model of care associated with infant birth outcomes among vulnerable women? A scoping review of midwifery-led versus physician-led care. Social Science and Medicine: Population Health.
Vedam S, Stoll K, Martin K, Jolicouer G. (2015) Women taking charge of changing childbirth in British Columbia. Abstracts from Research Forums Presented at the American College of Nurse-Midwives’ 60th Annual Meeting. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 60: 637.
Vedam S, Leeman L, Cheyney M, Fisher T, Myers S, Low L, Ruhl C. (2014) Transfer from planned home birth to hospital: Improving interprofessional collaboration. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health. 59(6):624
Vedam S, Stoll K, Fairbrother N, Thordarson D, Dharamsi S, Kornelsen J, Klein M, Liston R, Schummers L, Rogers J Kaczorowski J (2014) The Canadian Birth Place Study: Examining attitudes and interprofessional conflict. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 14:353
Cheyney M, Bovbjerg M, Everson C, Gordon W, Hannibal D, Vedam S. (2014). Outcomes of Care for 16,924 Planned Home Births in the United States: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009. J Midwifery Women’s Health. 59(1):17-27.
Cheyney M, Bovbjerg M, Everson C, Gordon W, Hannibal D, Vedam S. (2014) The MANA Statistics Project: Development of a national registry of data on midwife-led planned home and birth center births. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health. 59 (1): 8-16.
Vedam S, Stoll K, Schummers L, Rogers J, Paine L. (2014) Home birth in North America: Attitudes and practice of American Certified Nurse-Midwives and Canadian Registered Midwives. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health. 59(2):141-152.
De Vries RG, Parachuri Y, Lorenz K, Vedam S. (2013) Moral Science: Ethical argument and the production of knowledge about the safety of hospital and home birth. J Clinical Ethics, 24(3):222-235.
Vedam S, Schummers L, Stoll K, Rogers J, Klein MC, Fairbrother N, Dharamsi S, Liston R, Chong GK, Kaczorowski J. (2012) The Canadian Birth Place Study: Describing maternity practice and providers’ exposure to home birth. Midwifery, 28(5): 600-608.
Schummers L, Vedam S, Fairbrother N, Klein M, Kaczorowski J. (2012). The Canadian Birth Place Study: Development, validation, and administration of a questionnaire to multi-disciplinary maternity care providers. Canadian Journal of Midwifery and Practice, 11(1):35-45.
Ellis C, Schummers L, Stoll K, Carty E, Vedam S. (2012) Assessment of the Midwifery Education Program at the University of British Columbia: A survey of graduates and midwife mentors. Canadian Journal of Midwifery Research and Practice, 12(1), 8-18.
Michal, CA., Janssen PA., Vedam, S., Hutton, EK., De Jonge, A. (2011). Planned home vs hospital birth: a meta-analysis gone wrong. Medscape: Obstetrics and Gynecology, available at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/739987
Vedam, S., Aaker, J., Stoll, K. (2010). Assessing certified nurse midwives’ attitudes towards planned home birth. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 55(2): 133-142.
Vedam, S., Stoll, K., Aaker, J., White, S., Schummers, S. (2009). Nurse-Midwives experiences with planned home birth: Impact on attitudes and practice. Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care, 36(4): 274-282.
Janssen PA., Henderson AD., Vedam S. (2009). The experience of planned home birth: Views of the first 500 women. Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care, 34(4): 297.
Vedam, S., Goff, M., Marnin, V. (2007). Closing the theory-practice gap: Intrapartum midwifery management of planned home births. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 52(3): 291-300.