Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve
A major new report takes stock of the U.S. maternity
care system and finds great opportunities for improvement.
NICE Guidelines on Intrapartum care
CG55 Intrapartum care: Quick reference guide
Birth statistics published for England
Statistics, England: 2005-06
An opportunity for midwives and doctors world-wide to collaborate to collect consistent data, and contribute to the evidence concerning water immersion during labour and birth.
Caesareans linked to risk of infertility
The Observer: One in three women cannot have a second baby after emergency operation, study claims by Amelia Hill
Why Mothers Die?
This was a Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths for the United Kingdom. It found that the poorest women are 20 times more likely to die in childbirth. Women from non white ethnic groups were twice as likely to die, and women were still dying of potentially treatable conditions. The leading cause of death in women in the first year of the baby's life is suicide.
Breastfeeding past 4 months and arterial stiffness?
Misleading reports in the press implied that it is risky to breastfeed for longer than 4 months because it may lay the foundations of heart disease in later life. This follows a paper published in the British Medical Journal about which there has been lively debate on its website. Read the discussion - and keep breastfeeding!
Consumers should be involved in decisions about research
Sir Iain Chalmers, Director of the Cochrane Institute, believes that consumers should be involved in decisions about what research to do, how to do it, and dissemination of the results. In a letter to the Lancet Vol 356 Page 774 he writes:
Patients are likely to have the most unconflicted vested interests in promoting important trials. Now that an international meta-register of controlled trials has been established the framework exists for creating a consumer-led, electronic good controlled trials guide, to help people who are considering participating in trials to make well-informed choices. Consumer commentaries on trials in the register could convey, for example, the importance of the questions being addressed, whether these had already been answered satisfactorily by previous research, whether the design of the study was scientifically and ethically robust, whether the primary outcomes chosen mattered to patients, and whether arrangements were in place for communicating the results of the research to those who had participated in it. Mobilisation of consumer influence...might help to reorientate the clinical research agenda to serves the interests of patients better, just as Sheila Kitzinger's Good Birth Guide, for example, helped to make British maternity hospitals more aware of the public image of the care each of them was providing.
Researchers and research sponsors will need to realise that one of the preconditions for consumer endorsement of and partnership in their trials is likely to be that protocols and other trial document should be made public. Researchers commercial or non-commercial who wish to compete successfully for the attention of potential partners must therefore be prepared to be far more open about their activities than they have been in the past'
10th November 2000
Media representation of breast and bottle feeding
Research on media representation of breast
and bottle feeding was published in the British Medical Journal
Waterbirths: A Comparative Study
Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy 15:5:2000,
This new research from Switzerland shows that:
"waterbirths demonstrate fewer episiotomies, higher rates of intact perineum, lower blood loss and lower use of painkillers. Moreover, neonatal infections do not occur more frequently"
Motherhood is good for the brain, US scientists conclude
The journal Nature reported that a psychologist research team found mother rats to be significantly cleverer than virgin females. They were three times faster as extricating themselves from a maze. This was not due to genetic differences and so was likely to be due to motherhood.
An editorial on episiotomy by Stephen Thacker in The British Medical Journal [ BMJ 2000;320:1615-1616, 17 June] in which he urged research to compare medio-lateral with mid-line episiotomies, was followed by a lively discussion on the BMJ web site. Sheila wrote:
editorial is welcome. But it is rather like saying that there should be research into the
benefits and risks of two kinds of female circumcision. Both constitute genital
Aromatherapy in Childbirth
"Aromatherapy is easier to administer and costs very little. It changes the whole atmosphere of the birth room. It is not just the mother who can be more relaxed, but the staff caring for her feel calmer and happier too.
`Aromatherapy is not a magic charm. But it is one way in which a midwife can communicate warmth, sensitivity and friendship in an institutional and medical environment" .
by Sheila Kitzinger
Research published 1999 through Oxford Brookes University
Midirs Informed Choice Leaflets
The best evidence-based research into birth options and interventions is described in the Midirs Informed Choice leaflets. Even if you are not a midwife Sheila thinks you should get the leaflets for health professionals because they have all the references.
Each pack contains: a sample of the womens and professionals leaflets, a durable plastic leaflet, wallets for protection and to ensure longevity, background information to the initiative, the essential Informed Choice references, useful information sheets covering key issues, free posters.