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COVID-19: Should You Abandon Plans for VBAC?

Maybe you’ve been told VBAC won’t be possible because of the pandemic. Or maybe you are wondering if VBAC is a good idea. Is the pandemic a legitimate reason for abandoning plans for VBAC? In a word: “No.” With proper management, your odds of cesarean should be about 25% or 1 in 4 and better [...]

Could Labor Epidurals Increase Risk of Autism?

A new study links epidurals for labor pain with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis in the child. Should you be worried? How believable is this finding? How concerned should you be? How might this influence your decision to have or not have an epidural? Let’s answer those questions. How [...]

Part 2: How Can You Avoid an Avoidable Repeat Cesarean?

In Part 1 of this two-part series, we looked at the indefensibly high cesarean rate in first-time mothers and how to avoid a cesarean with a first baby. Now, let’s turn to the equally indefensible repeat cesarean rate.  As I noted in part one, the U.S. cesarean rate has held steady at 1 in 3 [...]

COVID-19: Should You Agree to Elective Induction of Labor?

“Routine medical interventions such as induction of labour, caesarean and forceps births without obstetric indication will increase the likelihood of maternal and newborn complications, increase the length of hospital stay and add to staffing burdens in hospitals, all of which will increase the [...]

Part 1: How Can You Avoid an Avoidable First Cesarean?

For more than a decade, the U.S. cesarean rate has stood at 33%.5 That’s one in every three pregnant women for over ten years having their baby via major abdominal surgery. One reason for this is the rate in 1st-time mothers: one in four 1st-time mothers at low risk for surgical delivery has a [...]

COVID-19: Can You Safely Breastfeed If You Test Positive?

The short answer to “Can you safely breastfeed if you test positive for COVID-19” is “Yes.” But let’s look at what underpins it. Let’s see what official guidelines have to say and why they say it, and let’s review the research. As usual, I’ll follow the discussion with a “Take Away” section [...]

COVID-19: Some State Regulations Allow Doulas at Births

If you wanted to have a doula, a trained health professional who provides continuous one-to-one physical, emotional, and informational support, at your birth, here’s some hope. Some state health regulations allow doulas at births in addition to a partner, family member, or friend. If you live [...]

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