Monday, July 11, 2011

Favorite Blogs: Science & Sensibility

I'm going to make a big plug for Science and Sensibility, "A Research Blog About Health Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond" from Lamaze International. 

I LOVE this blog! I've been reading it since the time I started my own blog, and it is absolutely fantastic.  The contributors are wonderful, bringing in birth-related research from the entire spectrum of parturition-related topics. I love that everything is very carefully researched and thought-out, providing all sides of the argument, with references. 

The blog contributors have different areas of expertise, and the topics cover understanding research, systematic reviews, conferences, becoming a critical reader, and so on. They frequently invite guest bloggers to add to the diverse topics of the blog. 

Some state Departments of Health, as that in Ohio, have got it right, and officially recommend skin-to-skin. That state prints and distributes cards for its WIC program that read, in part:  “Hold me, Mom. Babies who are held skin-to-skin on their mother‘s chest right after birth are happier and less likely to cry, are more likely to latch on and [sic] breastfeeding well, have better heart rates, have better temperatures than under a warmer, have better blood sugars, burn less [sic]  calories than under a warmer. So, be sure to tell your doctor and the hospital nurses that you want to hold your baby for at least the first hour after the birth, skin-to-skin (baby naked, not wrapped in a blanket). That‘s the best way to introduce your baby to the world”4

How can we account for the fact that a mother is advised by a government agency to “be sure” to tell her doc and staff to give her best-evidence care? Even for this well-documented and uncomplicated course of action, we cannot count on our caregivers to act reliably in the interests of mother and baby.  Again, a Healthy Birth Practice can be read as a subtle warning: Do not let them take your baby from you for the first hour!

Why must women spend precious energy and focus during labor to advocate for best-evidence care for themselves when that kind of care should just be expectations met?  Period.

Here, here!

Why should women have to defend themselves, hire doulas to advocate for their desires, fear the hospital experience so much that some switch to home birth? The U.S. maternity care system could be so much better if doctors, nurses, hospitals, insurance companies, etc all recognized and practiced evidence-based procedures, true informed consent, and respect for the choices of the mother. Instead, they practice defensive medicine and women must bring in reinforcements (in the form of people, scientific studies, etc)!  

Anyway, I encourage you to subscribe to Science and Sensibility if you have an interest in childbirth-related research! I have especially loved their articles because it keeps me up-to-date on evidence-based practices and research to back up my answers to the questions that my doula clients have!

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