Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Advancing Normal Birth in Journal of Perinatal Education

The Journal of Perinatal Education of Winter 2007 contains a 99 page supplement to the isssue that presents evidence and research for the Mother Friendly Childbirth Initiative. I've included the 10 steps contained in that Initiative below. Thearticle in the Journal of Perinatal Education discusses each of the steps and why they are apart of the Initiative being sponsored by Lamaze International and the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services.


Step 1: Offers All Birthing Mothers Unrestricted Access to Birth Companions,
Labor Support, Professional Midwifery Care

Step 2: Provides Accurate, Descriptive, Statistical Information About Birth
Care Practices

Step 3: Provides Culturally Competent Care

Step 4: Provides the Birthing Woman With Freedom of Movement to Walk, Move,
Assume Positions of Her Choice

Step 5: Has Clearly Defined Policies, Procedures for Collaboration, Consultation,
Links to Community Resources

Step 6: Does Not Routinely Employ Practices, Procedures Unsupported by
Scientific Evidence

Step 7: Educates Staff in Nondrug Methods of Pain Relief and Does Not Promote
Use of Analgesic, Anesthetic Drugs

Step 8: Encourages All Mothers, Families to Touch, Hold, Breastfeed, Care for
Their Babies

Step 9: Discourages Nonreligious Circumcision of the Newborn

Step 10: Strives to Achieve the WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps of the Baby-Friendly
Hospital Initiative to Promote Successful Breastfeeding

Appendix: Birth Can Safely Take Place at Home and in Birthing Centers

The article is very comprehensive on many, if not all, aspects of birth and maternity care in hospital settings. I'm pleased to see the appendix discussing out of hospital choices. The evidence stands for itself, and states it much better than my humble efforts at a blog can, that midwifery care is as safe (if not safer) than care provided by OBs and family doctors. Care provided by midwives is also shown to have fewer interventions which means exposing women and babies to less risk. The care is often more appropriate for the normal process that birth is; with less morbidity (as defined in a previous post), with more satisfaction, less postpartum depression and mood disorders (i.e. PTSD), greater success rates with breastfeeding, etc.

I recommend this article to pregnant women, or those planning to have a child. Its provides a very good description of what appropriate maternity care is, and provides clues to women to RUN AWAY if they see their care providers not taking the steps described by the Initiative.

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