Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Help Improve Maternal Care!

Here's an opportunity for YOU to help influence the quality of care for mothers and babies. The PregSource Project asks pregnant people questions about their health and allows them to track and share their everyday experiences using a free, confidential website. The data captured by the site will help inform health care future parents and their babies. The PregSource research project is an initiative of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Lamaze International and other partners, working together to improve outcomes and build on best practices for future families.

The first-hand information provided by pregnant people is critical to understanding how pregnancy is experienced. You will be asked questions like

  • Your background (such as age, education level)
  • Pregnancy experience (sleep, nausea)
  • Overall health
  • Labor and delivery and more

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Your Birth Location Matters - A Lot!

Cesarean sections in the USA vary between 7% and 70% by hospital. It's a tenfold risk, depending on where you go. 
Neel Shah is an OB/GYN and the director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs.
His research has shown that the hospital where a woman gives birth may be the single most important factor in whether or not she has a C-section.
In this podcast Shah will explain why that’s the case—and also what can be done to reduce a woman’s risk of having a C-section.
A transcript of the podcast can be found here

Monday, March 20, 2017

Big Steps to Limit Interventions for Low-Risk Pregnancy

The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) recently issued Committee Opinion: Approaches to Limit Intervention During Labor and Birth. The opinion addresses many "hands off" practices that doulas have long promoted in pursuit of satisfying labors and healthy birth outcomes for mothers and babies.  While publication of these guidelines doesn't mean every health provider will automatically adopt them, it does offer pregnant persons a frame of reference when talking to their obstetrician or midwife.

The opinion affirms the benefit of continuous support (doulas!) and reasonable alternatives to common "intervention" practices like:

-Automatic hospital admission for prelabor rupture of membranes
-Management of early labor
-Continuous fetal monitoring
-Routine amniotomy (breaking bag of waters)
-Eating and drinking in labor
And more......

Check out this DONA summary for easy reading and be informed!   

Monday, January 16, 2017

"Looks like your baby might be big"

This comment, so often heard by mothers approaching their due date, is NOT itself a sufficient reason to plan a surgical birth. And the message it sends can often undermine a mother's confidence. Be prepared, be informed. "When a Big Baby Isn't So Big"

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

So this is something we need to talk about more - our mental health and well-being after our births. We've all heard of the baby blues, but sometimes those feelings can be a bit more. And it's much more common than you may think! Did you know that up 1-7 women will experience some mental health disturbance in her childbirthing year? And that symptoms can occur in any period for up to a year after birth? Depression, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are all some of the common mood disorders that many new mothers suffer in silence, fear and shame, afraid to reach out for help. But there is help!! The good news is that these conditions are so very treatable. 
There is no reason to suffer. And you are not alone. 

For more information, please visit

Friday, September 23, 2016

Even ACOG Says....

I'm not a huge fan of ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists). My personal ambivalence has to do with the potential conflicts of interest in their own vision statement: to serve women's health (advocacy, practice & research) and to serve their own members. Unfortunately,  these intentions sometimes travel in opposite directions!  Nonetheless, it's interesting to review ACOG recommendations. It seems to take a long time for ACOG recommendations to reflect the evidence, and then even longer to put them into practice. How about your provider? Is she or he trying to keep up with evidence based practices? Click HERE for some better-late-then-never recommendations regarding inductions, ultrasounds and more. Be informed.

If you appreciate and value this sort of information and would like to evaluate the evidence for yourself, please visit Rebecca Dekker's excellent site, Evidence Based Birth!!