In a New Yorker article (July 2013) titled Slow Ideas, the surgeon and journalist Atul Gawande asks why some innovative ideas in medicine are adopted so quickly, while others are ignored for years.
For years, obstetric opinion (shared by nurse-midwives) has been that “term” pregnancy refers to one at from 37 to 42 weeks completed gestation, starting with the date of the last menstrual period. Babies born within this five-week window were thought to be out of danger of complications of “prematurity” or “post-maturity.”
Home birth is increasing in popularity in the United States, although it still accounts for a small percentage of births overall – less than 1%. If you are thinking about a home birth, you need to ask yourself a lot of questions, do some research, find out if there is a home-birth provider (usually a
The Netherlands has a system of pregnancy and birth care that is unique in the Western world. The majority of Dutch midwives work independently from obstetricians, are the sole care providers for low risk women and are primarily responsible for the system of risk selection. Almost 30% of women choose to give birth at home.
Reported in an article by KJ Dell’Antonia in the New York Times on April 2, 2012, “births during the last decade take longer than they did in the early 1960s;” 2.6 hours longer for women having their first baby, and a little less than two hours longer for women who have given birth before.”
According to a study conducted by the American Association of Birth Centers and published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health (Jan-Feb 2013), increasing the number of women who choose birth centers to have their babies would significantly decrease the number of cesarean sections and save “billions” in healthcare dollars.
In an original study, researchers in Malaysia found that women who reported having sexual intercourse during the last month of pregnancy were more likely to go into labor before 41 weeks gestation and to avoid labor induction than women who did not have intercourse.
As many midwives have found, a doula can be an invaluable resource to a laboring woman and to a new mother. A doula is a professionally-trained supportive companion for a woman in labor. Doulas do not have clinical training in medicine, midwifery, or nursing, but are trained to support and advocate for the pregnant and
In 2007, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists published an important and interesting study asking practicing obstetricians about their knowledge, beliefs, and practices regarding the risks and benefits of elective (not medically indicated) and non-elective cesarean delivery, as well as their counseling practices and department policies regarding elective cesarean. About half of the obstetricians