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What we mean by “collaborative care”

Our mission at Oula is simple: to set a new standard for pregnancy care. Today’s depersonalized, overly-medicalized “one size fits all” approach is simply not good enough, and the data proves it: U.S. maternal mortality and NICU rates continue to surpass those of other developed nations, and the c-section rate is upwards of 30%, well above the World Health Organization’s benchmark of 10%.

At Oula, we believe you, the patient, should be driving a lot more of your care, and that your journey is dependent on your unique body, preferences, culture, and history. As an OB/GYN and mother of two, I believe and know we can do better.  Pregnancy is one of the most personal experiences of your life, and you deserve to receive compassionate, respectful, and evidence-based care that’s centered around your needs. We believe the path to doing this is through collaborative care. This term might be new to some, so we wanted to share more about how we define and practice collaborative care at Oula.

What is collaborative care?

To us, it’s bringing together 3 key components:

  • You. We are here to lead with evidence, and it’s our responsibility to listen to you and trust you. This means involving you in key decision-making and arming you with the data you need to make the right choice for yourself. For example, it’s your choice how you’d like to manage pain or discomfort during labor. We’re here to present you the pros and cons of your options (Epidural? Nitrous Oxide? Natural techniques?), and you can make the choice you’re most comfortable with (and even change your mind!).
  • Midwives + OBGYNs. OBGYNs are surgeons, critical in cases where a surgical intervention like a c-section is necessary. However, midwives are experts in physiologic birth, and data shows their care results in the fewest medical interventions. We believe the best care takes the best of both disciplines, and it’s critical for OBGYNs and midwives towork together.
  • Supportive provider network.  A healthy and happy pregnancy, birth, and postpartum involves much more than textbook clinical care. We believe in bringing together a multidisciplinary care team based on your needs that includes doulas, lactation consultations, mental health therapists, pelvic floor therapists, nutritionists, and more.

How does collaboration happen?  

And finally, how do we pull off this collaboration? Partly through our clinical protocols and training, but also through Oula’s patient portal. To start, we offer both in-person and virtual appointments to suit the changing times and your schedule. But we also provide messaging with your care team to bridge the gap between appointments, as well as a map of all the key decisions and educational topics to work through as you progress through your pregnancy journey. There are many things in pregnancy and birth that may not be fully under your control, but we will lay out the pieces that are in your control and help you navigate your path.

And perhaps the best part: Oula will be in-network with all major insurance providers, including Medicaid, because we believe everyone deserves access to the best care. 

We’d love to meet you! Join us at an upcoming virtual event or book a virtual Preconception or Early Prenatal visit with our team.