If you look at scientific literature, you find over and over again that many interventions increase risk to mother and child instead of decreasing it.
When I ask my medical students to describe their image of a woman who elects to birth with a midwife rather than with an obstetrician, they generally describe a woman who wears long cotton skirts, braids her hair, eats only organic vegan food, does yoga, and maybe drives a VW microbus. What they don’t envision is the omnivorous, pants-wearing science geek standing before them.
Indeed, they become downright confused when I go on to explain that there was really only one reason why my mate — an academic internist — and I decided to ditch our obstetrician and move to a midwife: Our midwife could be trusted to be scientific, whereas our obstetrician could not.
(click link at the top to read the rest of the article on TheAtlantic.com)
10 procedures to think twice about during your pregnancy
Despite a healthcare system that outspends those in the rest of the world, infants and mothers fare worse in the U.S. than in many other industrialized nations. Infants in this country are more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday as those in Japan and Finland. And America now ranks behind 59 other countries in preventing mothers from dying during childbirth and is one of only eight countries in the world, along with Afghanistan and El Salvador, whose maternal mortality rate is rising.
Why? Partly because mothers in the U.S. tend to be less healthy than in the past, “which contributes to a higher-risk pregnancy,” says Diane Ashton, M.D., deputy medical director of the March of Dimes.
But another key reason may be that medical expediency appears to be taking a priority over the best outcomes. The U.S. healthcare system has developed into a labor-and-delivery machine, often operating according to its own timetable rather than the less predictable schedule of mothers and babies. Keeping things chugging along are technological interventions that can be lifesaving in some situations but also interfere with healthy, natural processes and increase risk when used inappropriately.
(click link at the top to read on Consumerreports.org)
So, your partner is expecting a baby. That’s amazing. You’re surely getting unsolicited advice from all angles. Well, here’s another piece for the pile: Hire a damn doula. When my pregnant wife first proposed hiring a doula, I issued my standard response when asked about paying someone to perform a service: Nope, I can do that shit on my own.
Oh, how ignorant I was. The more I researched what doulas do, and the more my attorney wife presented me with rock-solid arguments in their favor, the more I came around. Looking back now, I have no idea how I would’ve made it without our doula.
The dominant American cultural approach to pregnancy, labor, and post-partum care is off-kilter in plenty of ways. We’re the only industrialized nation without mandated maternity leave; and paternity leave is seen as a joke, something for lazy-ass sissies. Also, we don’t take doulas as seriously as we should. If you, as a birth partner, have heard of doulas at all, you may think they’re granola-crunching life-coaches. I’ve noticed some O.B.s seem to have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to doulas, as if not being able to perform a C-section means you have an unimportant place in the birthing process.
But doulas are awesome. They are highly trained, they are highly experienced, and, perhaps most importantly, they have your back.
CLICK to read the rest: http://goodmenproject.com/families/new-dads-advice-just-hire-a-damn-doula-jrmk/#sthash.HJPG6UtI.dpuf
I am an OB/GYN physician and…
I love midwives. In fact, I think MIDWIVES ROCK. Midwives deliver over 50% of the babies in our birth unit. When it comes to normal birth, they are the experts. Let me explain.
(click link above to read the blog post)
“There is a popular misconception that a doula, someone who provides professional labor support, is only useful for women who are planning an unmedicated or natural childbirth. As a long time doula, I can tell you that nothing is further from the truth.” (click link to read on pregnancy.about.com)
Low vitamin D levels could make childbirth more painful, according to a new study.
Vitamin D deficiency is common during pregnancy, especially among high-risk women, including vegetarians, those with little sun exposure, and members of ethnic minorities, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says.
The new study included 93 pregnant women whose vitamin D levels were checked before childbirth and who received an epidural for pain during labor. The researchers measured how much pain medication each of the women required during delivery.
(click to read on CBS News website)