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Consumer Reports take on Maternity Care (Must Read!)

Posted by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 1:52 PM
  • 6 Replies

Originally from : http://blog.ctnews.com/elwood/2009/10/15/consumer-reports-maternity-care/

Consumer reports tackles everything from cars to stereo systems, but now they are taking a much needed turn into the maternity care community, and they are also helping to debunk some common maternity care myths, that are still used in the Obstetric field today.

I hope you enjoy this great piece of information from Consumer reports.

True or False?

An Obstetrician will deliver better maternity care, overall, than a midwife or family doctor.
False. Studies show that the 8 percent to 9 percent of U.S. women who use midwives and the 6 to 7 percent who choose family physicians generally experienced just-as-good results as those who go to obstetricians. Those who used midwives also ended up with fewer technological interventions. For example, women who received midwifery care were less likely to experience induced labor, have their water broken for them, episiotomies, pain medications, intravenous fluids, and electronic fetal monitoring, and were more likely to give birth vaginally with no vacuum extraction or forceps, than similar women receiving medical care. Note that an obstetric specialist is best for the small proportion of women with serious health concerns.

Induced Labor can halt fetal development.
True. The vital organs (including the brain and lungs) continue to develop beyond the 37th week of gestation. There is also a five-fold increase in the brain’s white matter volume between 35 and 41 weeks after conception. Inducing labor (with synthetic oxytocin, for example) might stop this growth if the fetus is not fully developed. Between 1990 and 2005, the number of women whose labor was induced more than doubled.

Due Date estimates can be off by up to two full weeks.
True. This inaccuracy can lead to a baby being delivered by induction or Caesarean section up to two weeks earlier than its estimated due-date, cutting off important weeks of fetal development.

“Breaking the Waters” helps hasten labor.
False. There is no evidence to support the fact that this common practice (about 47% of women) shortens labor, increases maternal satisfaction, or improves outcomes for newborns.

Induced labors increase the likelihood of cesarean sections in first time mothers.
True. The cervix may not be ready for labor. Other effects of induced labor include an increased likelihood of an epidural, an assisted delivery with vacuum extraction or forceps, and extreme bleeding postpartum.

Once you have had a c-section, it is best to do it again.
False. Studies show that, as the number of a woman’s previous C-sections increased, so did the likelihood of harmful conditions, including: trouble getting pregnant again, problems delivering the placenta (placenta accreta), longer hospital stays, intensive-care (ICU) admission, hysterectomy, and blood transfusion.

Labor itself can benefit a newborns immunity.
True. When babies do not experience labor (if the mother has a C-section before entering into labor, for example), they fail to benefit from changes that help to clear fluid from their lungs. That clearance can protect against serious breathing problems outside the womb. Passage through the vagina might also increase the likelihood that the newborn’s intestines will be colonized with “good” bacteria after the sterile womb environment.

Epidural anesthesia is a low-risk way to make labor easier.
False. Many women welcome the pain relief, but might not be well-informed about the increased risk of its side-effects, including lack of mobility, sedation, fever, longer pushing, and serious perineal tears.

Epidural anesthesia presents risks to newborns.
True. Babies whose mothers received epidurals during labor are at risk for rapid heart rate, hyperbilirubinemia (the presence of an excess of bilirubin in the blood), need for antibiotics, and poorer performance on newborn assessment tests.

Episiotomies reduce the risk of perineal tearing.
False. Evidence shows that routine use of episiotomy offers no benefits but rather increases women’s risk of experiencing perineal injury, stitches, pain and tenderness, leaking stool or gas, and pain during sexual intercourse. Yet in 2005, 25 percent of women with vaginal births continued to experience this intervention. Episiotomy is one of several obstetric practices adopted into common usage before being adequately studied.

The source for Consumer reports information came from,
Source: “Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve,” a detailed review of clinical evidence by Carol Sakala and Maureen P. Corry published by the Childbirth Connection, the Reforming States Group, and the Milbank Memorial Fund, October 2008.


I hope mothers take the chance to read this, and about their provider before laboring and birthing with them!


by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 1:52 PM
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Replies (1-6):
hallen08
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Wow! I wish I had this information before I delivered my first. I'll definitely keep this in mind for this one! I used a midwife that worked at my OBGYN's office, and she actually induced me, then broke my water. I screamed at her for that, and she told me I needed an epidural. I tore bad too... Interesting.. Thank you!

i.heart.rachel
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Can't wait to deliver with a midwife next time around! :) But I was induced 4 times, had an epi two times, and had VERY easy labors, and healthy happy babies.


Ask me how I can help turn your daughter into a PRINCESS!

alexa_n_mommy
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 1:59 PM

I wish I had know about all of this before my DD was born. My doctors failed to educate me on all of this. I will deffinately find a midwife for my future children.

the.real.me
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 1:59 PM

I ALWAYS seem to come upon your posts!  Love them! 

AjsMom0508
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 2:07 PM

I agree with this.  My water broke and instead of letting me walk to start contractions they stuck me in a bed and started pitocin and wouldn't let me up.  I then experienced terrible back labor and they tried to push an epi on me even though I clearly stated I didn't want one.  Then to add to all that I had to have a C-section due to the pitocin sending my DS into distress to the point that his heart rate dropped into the 30s because my doctor FAILED to give me an additional sonogram when I was measuring 4 weeks behind.  My son's placenta and umbilical cord had stopped growing and he went into distress because the pitocin was causing him to lose his blood supply.  I will DEFINITELY be looking into a midwife the next time around.

Quoting alexa_n_mommy:

I wish I had know about all of this before my DD was born. My doctors failed to educate me on all of this. I will deffinately find a midwife for my future children.


CTRedSoxMom
by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Glad you do!

Quoting the.real.me:

I ALWAYS seem to come upon your posts!  Love them! 



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