In the last post, women are not getting the best maternity care, we looked at some negative findings from the...
In the last post, women are not getting the best maternity care, we looked at some negative findings from the 2008 Milbank Report: Evidence-Based Maternity Care report. The gist is that women and babies are still experiencing too many unnecessary labor and birth interventions. While interventions continue to rise, research says that the following practices will result in the safest and best care for women and babies during the labor and birth process:
  • Labor should be allowed to start on its own.
  • A larger use of midwives and family physicians vs. traditional obstetricians. Both midwives and family physicians routinely have patients who experience much lower intervention rates than women cared for by obgyn doctors.
  • Hospital programs that require second opinions for major interventions such as a c-section, see fewer unnecessary cesareans.
  • Pregnant women should seek caregivers with low overall c-section rates.
  • Pregnant women who give birth in a hospital should wait until labor is well established before going to the hospital.
  • Women should have a companion with them during labor who is NOT a member of the hospital staff, such as a birth doula or girlfriend. This has been shown to lower negative intervention rates significantly.
  • Avoiding "gateway interventions" - smaller interventions such as fetal monitoring will usually result in fewer overall interventions during the entire labor and birth process.
  • An increase of non-invasive, natural pain relief methods such as a birthing ball, massage, water immersion, and acupuncture, helps to decrease medical interventions and should be used whenever possible.
  • More health care providers should learn to use external version to manual turn breech babies instead of turning to c-sections automatically.
  • Mamas and babies should stay together, not room apart.
How this report can help you: As a mama, you can't likely head into your hospital and right away change hospital policy. However, you do have the right to ask your hospital or birth center all about their policies and their vision for normal birth. In the list above there are recommendations for both care providers and women. Ask your health care provider about the items in the above list - does your health care provider do a ton of c-sections? Does she approve of massage or water birth? What's her record for all interventions? Did you know that during labor and birth you have many rights as a woman and mama? You do. Read all about your rights during labor and birth.

Tags: best practices evidence-based maternity care fewer labor and birth interventions labor and birth interventions labor inteventions midwifery care proper pregnancy care rights during labor and birth


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