Turning a page for Maternity Care
I am pleasantly surprised that we may be FINALLY turning a page in the her-story of medicalized maternity care. While most fields of medicine base their practices on the latest and best science, maternity care has been in the dark ages, leaving a huge gap between what science knows and what we practice. This gap puts MotherBabies at risk, creates birth trauma and ultimately has added to the growing FEAR of childbirth that many expectant parents and even some providers feel.
So are you wondering what is changing? Why am I optimistic?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently issued a Committee Opinion with recommendations to limit use of many common interventions and instead adopt safer, underused care options for low-risk women around the time of birth.
In response an organization I was formerly a board member of and use as one of my favorite resources – Childbirth Connection Programs at the National Partnership for Women & Families applauded these evidence-based recommendations, which have been endorsed by ACNM and AWHONN. To help improve the quality, outcomes and value of maternity care, they prepared a guide to help childbearing women understand and consider the new recommendations with their maternity care providers. This includes a great chart for you and/or to share with your clients[Tweet “When you are told you must have an IV instead of eating and drinking in labor say #ShowMeYourCochrane!”]
Similarly, in 2014 (reaffirmed in 2016) ACOG and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine issued far-reaching recommendations for safely preventing primary cesareans, and Childbirth Connection issued a summary of the cesarean prevention recommendations for women.
If widely implemented, the recommendations in these two statements will accelerate the transition to high-value maternity care, with major benefits for women and newborns and other stakeholders.
In addition, A California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative toolkit is available to help with many recommendations in these statements.
So what can you do?
You can not only view and share these documents and hold hospitals and caregivers accountable. It is not ok to have practices that are not supported by the evidence, and that are risky be offered or even sometimes forced onto mother and your baby.
The best source for evidence based care is the Cochrane Collaboration – a collection of research from around the world in 18 languages.
Recently at our Eat Pray Doula Retreat in Bali our doulas created the ideas to create a campaign #ShowMeYourCochrane
Your providers should show you the research they are using to support their choice of birth, breastfeeding and newborn care practices. It’s up to you to ask them to #ShowMeYourCochrane
You deserve care that is respectful, evidence based and that will provide you with a safe, satisfying and yes Pleasurable birth! A sexy birth is a scientific birth – read our top tips for supporting safe, sexy and Orgasmic Birth!
Record yourself sharing a statement about a common birth practice that is not supported by the research and let’s bring #ShowMeYourCochrane viral around the world. Tag @OrgasmicBirth #ShowMeYourCochrane and we will offer a prize to the video that goes the furthest around the world.