Group B Streptococcus Screening For Pregnant Women ‘Not Recommended’ By National Screening Committee (In the UK)

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/group-b-streptococcus-screening_uk_58d2861ee4b0f838c62e49a4

 

Screening pregnant women for Group B streptococcus (GBS) is “not recommended” by the National Screening Committee (NSC).

About 150,000 pregnant women carry GBS each year in the UK and, in some cases, will pass the bacteria to their baby in labour.

In January 2016, a couple appealed for the pregnancy screening to be made mandatory, after their baby died from an infection that could have been prevented if caught early by a simple test.

However at the time, the NSC said the test should not be offered to all pregnant women as there was “insufficient evidence” to demonstrate that the benefits would outweigh the harms.

Now, following a further comprehensive review of the evidence, the independent screening committee has stood by the decision to not recommended a national screening programme for GBS in pregnancy.

(click link at top to read on huffingtonpost.co.uk)

Don’t Tell Women There’s No Point Making A Birth Plan

http://www.mumfidential.com/dont-tell-women-theres-no-point-making-birth-plan/

 

Don’t make a birth plan, it’s pointless, because birth is completely unpredictable.

If I had a pound for every time I’ve heard a woman being given this crappy nugget of pseudo-wisdom, I’d be rich enough to start my own luxury birth centre in St Lucia.

It’s fabulously convenient to tell women this, actually, because not only does it totally discourage them from researching their birth options, making a plan and thus becoming one of those ‘tricky customers’ in the birth room who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to ask.

But also, once birth is over, if the birth was difficult or even downright unpleasant, you can ask her, “Did you make a birth plan?”, and if she says yes you can shake your head and say, “Oh dear”, in a way that basically implies, “I told you so”, and bingo, the whole sorry mess is her fault and everyone else is off the hook.

Actually, making a birth plan is one of the very best moves a pregnant woman can make.

 

(click link above to read on mumfidential.com)

Fearing childbirth may prolong labor

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/27/fearing-childbirth-may-prolong-labor/

Dr. Stuart Fischbein chuckled when he read the title of the press release: “Women with a fear of childbirth endure a longer labor.”

The release was promoting a study published this week in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  Researchers at Akershus University Hospital in Norway found women who feared giving birth were in labor for 1 hour and 32 minutes longer, on average, than those who had no fear.

“I’m glad there’s now evidence to say that,” Fischbein said, “but it’s obvious.”

For those of us who aren’t OB/GYNs, it may seem more like a cruel joke. Women who are afraid of the pain and the possible medical complications associated with giving birth have to suffer through it longer?

(click link at top to read article on cnn.com)

Saving Babies’ Lives by Carrying Them Like Kangaroos

Skin-to-skin contact sustains premature babies where incubators are limited. It may even be the best form of neonatal care, period.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/02/kangaroo-care/515844/

Carmela Torres was 18 when she became pregnant for the first time. It was 1987 and she and her now-husband, Pablo Hernandez, were two idealistic young Colombians born in the coastal region of Montería who moved to the capital, Bogotá, in search of freedom and a better life. When Torres told her father she was expecting, so angered was he by the thought of his daughter having a child out of wedlock that they didn’t speak to each other for years.

Before she had a chance to hold him, her baby was whisked off to a neonatal intensive-care unit. Torres was simply told to get dressed and go home. “I didn’t even get to touch him,” she says. “They said I could come back and see him but the visiting times were very restricted—just a couple of hours a day. When I did visit I was allowed to look but not touch.”

(click link above to read the story on theatlantic.com)

 

ACOG Takes Big Step In Limiting Unnecessary Interventions During Birth

From doulas to movement, the group outlined ways to help curb intervention in low-risk moms.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/acogs-new-guidelines-urge-ob-gyns-to-scale-back-interventions_us_588903c7e4b0024605fd683d

(click link to read on huffingtonpost.com)

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has released new guidelines encouraging OB-GYNs and other birth practitioners to re-examine the necessity of various interventions that may not necessarily benefit low-risk moms.

The new committee opinion does not signal a dramatic shift in best practices for managing uncomplicated labors, but it is a clear acknowledgement from ACOG that technological interventions can often times interfere with a natural process rather than help it along.

“This committee opinion is the first one, to my knowledge, that specifically addresses low-risk patients,” author Dr. Jeffrey L. Ecker, chief of the Obstetrics and Gynecology department at Massachusetts General Hospital told The Huffington Post. “It says, very clearly, that there are some times when watchful waiting is appropriate. Just because we have the technology, doesn’t mean it has to be used in every patient.”

Many doctors and hospitals already embrace measures to limit intervention when appropriate, he said. But for others, this will likely shift the standard care.

 

(click link at top to continue reading on huffingtonpost.com)

 

 

Planning for Postpartum: Help is Not a Luxury

http://www.mothering.com/articles/planning-for-postpartum-help-is-not-a-luxury/

The idea of a couple growing a family in isolation is new to human society. What we need, in the absence of our families and tribal support systems, is postpartum doulas.

Each of my postpartum experiences was different. For one I was largely dazed and happy, for another I felt upset and overwhelmed, and during one I was losing touch with reality. What they had in common was that I felt unanchored. Adrift. Lost in a sea of beautiful dreams and haunting nightmares that I felt obliged to keep to myself.

Surely this is just how it is. You struggle on, alone. Your triumphs are yours alone. Your grief and anger is yours alone. If you felt you could share, no one could understand anyway. Motherhood is a box.

For many of us, this is how it feels to enter into motherhood for the first or fifth time. You go to your box, sort yourself out, and occasionally over the next few months you’ll venture a peek outside, save up for a short staycation. But mostly, you are the box. You need the box and boy does the box need you.

Or not.

 

(click link above to read the entire article on mothering.com)