Optimal Care in Childbirth

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Pregnant or hoping to be?

If you’re like most first-time moms, this can be an exciting and somewhat nerve-wracking time.

You want a safe, healthy, satisfying birth, but what’s the best path to that goal? Everybody’s got an opinion, and they’re often in violent disagreement. How do you decide what’s best for you and your baby? CBU can help you make informed choices and obtain optimal care for you and your baby.

What do we mean by informed choices?

Choices based in an understanding of the potential benefits and harms of all your options, including watchful waiting.

What do we mean by optimal care?

The least use of medical intervention that achieves the best outcomes given your individual case.

Take Charge of Your Birth!

CBU can help you…

  • choose where you want to have your baby (or determine if you’ve made the right choice).
  • find doctors or midwives who practice optimal care (or evaluate whether yours measure up).
  • develop a birth plan that meets your needs.
  • participate intelligently in discussions about your care.
  • recognize when you’re being manipulated.
  • avoid avoidable medical interventions.
  • feel comfortable that when you agree to medical intervention, it was truly your best option.

How does CBU do this?

CBU Lectures…

Give you up-to-date access to the best medical research and knowledge of good practice so you can form your own opinions.

Unravel the arguments behind the controversies so you can make up your own mind.

Quantify how likely any potential harms are to occur so you can weigh the pros and cons of your options.

Provide information according to individual characteristics and factors so you can judge what makes sense for you.

Offer practical recommendations so you can apply what you’ve learned to making and implementing your plans.

Optimal Care in Childbirth

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How does CBU Work?

Optimal Care in Childbirth consists of a set of streamable, narrated slide lectures that can be viewed on any device and in any order. The specialized presentation software allows you to go at your own pace and jump to any slide of your choosing.

Lectures include links to selected internet resources pertinent to that lecture together with the lecture’s bibliography.

In addition, CBU’s Facebook page provides a forum for you to engage in dialog with CBU lecturers and other pregnant women as well as the option to contact lecture presenters privately.

Optimal Care in Childbirth

Online Course Curriculum

Get the facts on the advantages and disadvantages of hospital, birth center, and home birth so that you can choose the setting that best fits for you and your baby plus practical tips on how to maximize benefits and minimize risks of the setting you choose.

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Perhaps the most important decision you make is choosing your maternity care provider. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of the various types of physicians and midwives. Find out what constitutes optimal care and how you can determine whether a prospective (or your current) doctor or midwife practices it.

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Are your partner and the nurse enough to look after you in labor? Does it matter if you are planning an epidural? Learn the advantages and drawbacks of the various people who can provide you supportive care in labor and find out how to get the support you need to help meet labor’s challenges.

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Get the facts about the tradeoffs between cesarean delivery and vaginal birth, find out why cesareans aren’t always done “only when they are necessary,” and learn strategies to help you maximize your chances for a safe, vaginal birth.

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Half of U.S. women who labor have labor induced (started artificially). The vast majority of these will be preventive inductions, that is, inductions in healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies based on the belief that inducing labor improves outcomes compared to letting nature take its course. Is that true? Get the information you need to decide for yourself so that you can determine whether to agree to induction for non-medical reasons.

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Considering (or planning) labor induction? Induction Part 2 will give you the facts on strategies to bring on labor naturally, induction methods, and what best promotes uneventful vaginal birth, and if the induction isn’t for medical reasons, it will help you decide whether you want to go ahead with the induction now, later, or at all.

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Perhaps right behind concern about the health of the baby is concern about coping with the pain of labor. Find out the pros and cons of your options, how to maximize the odds of avoiding pain medication (if that is your intention), strategies for signaling a change of mind in labor, and ways to reduce the likelihood of experiencing an epidural’s adverse effects.

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Continuous fetal monitoring (A.K.A. cardiotocography) during labor was supposed to identify babies in trouble more accurately, which was thought would both improve outcomes and avoid unnecessary rescue deliveries. Unfortunately, it became standard practice despite failing to deliver on either count. Learn the ins-and-outs of fetal monitoring, why routine use persists, when continuous monitoring is recommended, and ways to minimize its potential harms.

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Childbirth U is intended to help you make informed decisions about maternity care; however, the information found on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should consult your physician or midwife before acting on any of the information you find here. While the content of CBU lectures is believed to be true and accurate at the time of publication, we accept no legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may be made and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the content of CBU lectures.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take me to complete the course?

Course lectures are self-paced. You can take as long as you need. If you pause a lecture, the special software will remember where you left off and offer the option to begin there or start over when you return to it. Course lectures are also independent of each other. They may be viewed in any order, and, while we recommend taking the entire course, you can skip lectures on topics that don’t interest you.

What devices will allow me to access course lectures?

Course lectures can be viewed on any device capable of internet streaming.

How long will I have access to the course?

Access to courses never expires, and when lectures are updated or new lectures are added, you will automatically receive access to the updated or new lectures.

Have more questions?

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