Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Obstetric Standards of Care

I  wanted to share a birth-related article that someone sent my way today- 10 Ways Modern Obstetrics Ignores Evidence. It debunks the myth that all obstetric standards of care are evidence based. In fact, many of them are not. These include: scheduling cesareans for suspected macrosomia (otherwise known as big babies), continuous electronical fetal monitoring, the routine use of pitocin, routine amniotomy, etc.
What is obvious from this article is that there are practices that have become routine standards of care in obstetrics and that is not a good thing. No two women are alike and therefor it would make sense that their births may be different and require different forms of intervention, or better yet no intervention at all!
It is important that women are aware of their choices and of their ability to ask questions and refuse certain procedures they are not comfortable with.
When I speak to my clients about this issue, I always say that it's not about distrusting your doctor or creating an "us vs. them" mentality. Your doctor shares your goal of healthy mom, healthy baby. Nevertheless, it is very important to understand what your doctor is doing, why he feels this is the best course of treatment and what your other options are. In order to do that you need to ask questions, more importantly even know what questions to ask. A doula can help tremendously in this process.
Being an educated and informed consumer will help you make the decisions that are right for you.

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