Evidence Based Maternity Care

This means utilizing childbirth practices that have been shown by the highest quality, most current medical evidence to lead to the best birth outcomes for mothers and babies. The goal of evidence-based care is to reduce the incidence of injury and complications, while using the least amount of medical intervention possible. Evidence based care must be tailored to the individual, so each woman has the responsibility of securing a care provider who practices evidence- based medicine, and we’ll discuss how to make that important choice. Such definitions of care are not fixed in stone, but are likely to change gradually over time as observation, testing, and data reveal new insights. We continuously update our materials to reflect the most current research in maternity care. This ensures that our content is always relevant, accurate and shown to lead to the best outcomes for mothers and babies. We believe that every woman has the right to choose how, where, and with whom she gives birth.

Although most childbearing women and newborns in the United States are healthy and at low risk for complications, national surveys reveal that essentially all women who give birth in U.S. hospitals experience high rates of interventions with risks of adverse effects. Optimal care avoids, whenever possible, using those interventions with increased risk for harm. Large national prospective studies report that women receiving this type of care are much less likely to rely on pain medications, labor augmentation, forceps/vacuum extractions, episiotomy, cesarean section, and other interventions than similar women receiving standard interventionist care

Carol Sakala & Maureen P. Corry

Six Steps to a Healthy Birth

The Lamaze Institute has compiled a list of six Healthy Birth Practices, which are evidence based and clinically shown to lead to the safest, healthiest outcomes for mothers and babies. Talk to your care provider to make sure they offer evidence based care, and are on board with these priorities.

  1. Allow labor to begin on its own
  2. Walk and stay active in labor
  3. Bring a doula for continuous labor support
  4. Avoid medically unnecessary interventions
  5. Avoid laying on your back in labor, and follow your body’s urges to push
  6. Keep your baby with you as much as possible after birth

Most births are wonderfully uncomplicated if allowed to unfold as nature intended. However, if medical conditions arise that threaten the health or safety of mother or baby, seeking help in those situations is part of the love story. Use your affirmations, breathing, relaxation and Daddy Doula Support techniques to help you walk through any unexpected events with pride and joy. Through education and thorough preparation, you’ll know that you did everything you could to have a healthy birth, and so you’ll feel confident about your choices.

The KEY to a woman feeling positive and empowered by her birth experience is INFORMED CHOICE. When the mother knows her options, she can make educated choices for herself and her baby.

Experiences have clearly shown that an approach which ‘de-medicalizes’ birth, restores dignity and humanity to the process of childbirth, and returns control to the mother is also the safest approach.

Dr. Michel Odent