Archive | May 2012

Top 10 Pregnancy Procedures to Reject – Consumer Reports


Iron is an important topic in prenatal care be...

Iron is an important topic in prenatal care because women can sometimes become iron-deficient from the increased iron demands of pregnancy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Top 10 Pregnancy Procedures to Reject – Consumer Reports.

Despite a health-care system that outspends those in the rest of the world, infants and mothers fare worse in the U.S. than in many other industrialized nations. The infant mortality rate in Canada is 25 percent lower than it is in the U.S.; the Japanese rate, more than 60 percent lower. According to the World Health Organization, America ranks behind 41 other countries in preventing mothers from dying during childbirth.

With technological advances in medicine, you would expect those numbers to steadily improve. But the rate of maternal deaths has risen over the last decade, and the number of premature and low-birth-weight babies is higher now than it was in the 1980s and 1990s.

Why are we doing so badly? Partly because mothers tend to be less healthy than in the past, “which contributes to a higher-risk pregnancy,” says Diane Ashton, M.D., deputy medical director of the March of Dimes.

But another key reason appears to be a health-care system that has developed into a highly profitable labor-and-delivery machine, operating according to its own timetable rather than the less predictable schedule of mothers and babies. Childbirth is the leading reason for hospital admission, and the system is set up to make the most of the opportunity. Keeping things chugging along are technological interventions that can be lifesaving in some situations but also interfere with healthy, natural processes and increase risk when used inappropriately.

Topping the list are unnecessary cesarean sections. The rate has risen steadily since the mid-1990s to the point that nearly one of every three American babies now comes into the world through this surgical delivery. That’s double or even triple what the World Health Organization considers optimal.

Some people say that the increase in C-sections and other interventions stems mostly from women, who may be requesting more of the procedures. That could be a contributing cause but it’s not the major one, says Carol Sakala, Ph.D., director of programs at Childbirth Connection, a nonprofit organization that promotes evidence-based maternity care.

“We see rates going up across all birthing groups, including all ages, races, and classes,” Sakala says. “What we are seeing is a change in practice standards, a lowering of the bar for what’s an acceptable indication for medical interventions.”…


Can Ultrasound Really Predict the Weight of My Baby? – Blog –

Profil d'un embryon de 14 semaines.Embryo at 1...

Profil d’un embryon de 14 semaines.Embryo at 14 weeks (profile). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ultrasound exams are notoriously inaccurate for predicting the weight of your baby. The ultrasound gives an estimate of the weight of your baby, but this estimate can be off a pound or more in either direction. There are multiple ways to predict the weight via ultrasound, making it not advised for most to make decisions about induction and planned cesarean section based solely on estimated fetal weight.

While it makes patients uncomfortable to think that a) care providers routinely rely on inaccurate measures of fetal weight when making recommendations of the safety of vaginal birth and that b) care provider bias plays a significant role in determining whether or not a woman will have an unnecessary cesarean, Weiss writes briefly about one study that suggests that a bedside ultrasound will increase the chance of surgical birth.

One thing that is show in some studies is that an estimation of a big baby via ultrasound can increase the likelihood that you will have a cesarean. This is thought to be because your practitioner has the “big baby” seed planted in his or her mind already and is less tolerant of variances in labor.

via Can Ultrasound Really Predict the Weight of My Baby? – Blog –.

History of Induction

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbilical cord has not yet been cut. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

History of Induction. From

The history of induction
Medical reasons for induction
Elective reasons for induction

My Great Grandmother’s Births in 1939 and 40’s

I had the privilege of talking to my great-grandmother Vera, who fortunately lives close by, about the births of her five children. This is the most amazing woman I know, and will probably ever have the chance to know. She delivered her first baby boy in 1939 In Louisiana at a family members house because they could not get the doctor who was in town to do home visits. She had my grandma Betty next in a hospital, and had one more home birth and two more hospital births, all with no meds and with very little assistance from what I understood. For one birth she said she was lying naked as a jay bird, freezing cold and had to interrupt the chatty nurse and doctor for a blanket. For her last birth, my aunt Linda, she said it was protocol at the hospital that she stay in bed on her back for seven days after delivery! I really have to film her speaking about this so I can get all the other details and info right, it is so interesting. My Grandma Betty told me that her first labor of my mom was induced with a little white pill under the tongue, I’m guessing it was a form of oxytocin? She said the doctor would feel the baby and the pelvis of the mother and could tell how big the baby was and gave c sections for women he said were incapable of delivering vaginally….

Why hire a doula?

Research has shown that hiring a trained doula makes labor and delivery easier on mother and baby in many ways. According to, the benefits of hiring a trained doula include:

English: Doula (L) with newborn and mother

English: Doula (L) with newborn and mother (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • 50% reduction in the cesarean rate
  • 25% shorter labor
  • 60% reduction in epidural requests
  • 40% reduction in oxytocin use
  • 30% reduction in analgesia use
  • 40% reduction in forceps delivery

Read more about it at here