In Improving Birth

We’re back. Bigger and better than before. If you’re looking to find what will best promote your having a safe, healthy, satisfying birth and the tools to achieve it, you’ll find it at Childbirth U.

We know what works best in labor and birth. The research is rock solid on this. We knew back in 1980 when I trained as a Lamaze teacher because I wanted women to know too. It has never been enough to “trust your care provider.” It has always been “find a care provider you can trust.” If you doubt me, consider this: the cesarean rate is 32% in the United States and has been for years. Can you seriously think that 1 in 3 women needs major surgery to be safely delivered of a healthy baby? According to the World Health Organization, the sweet spot for the cesarean rate is 10-15%. And if liberal use of tests, procedures, restrictions, and surgical delivery is the way to go, how come studies consistently show that more judicious use correlates with equally good or better outcomes? Apologists for the system blame women. They would have you believe that the high rates of medical intervention and adverse outcomes are because women are too brown, too fat, too old, or their bodies are too incompetent for birth. That is also demonstrably untrue.

The problem is that what we know works isn’t common practice in mainstream obstetric management. There’s ample proof that this is so as well. I use the word management deliberately. It’s their word, and it’s a very different concept from “care.” None of the reasons why it isn’t common practice have to do with you and your baby’s health and wellbeing. They have to do with erroneous beliefs about the inherent dangers of childbirth, defensive medicine, perverse economic incentives, an authoritarian hospital social structure, and convenience. I can document that too.

Mind you, I’m not assuming that there’s only one right set of choices. Only you know what’s right for you and your baby. I can tell you what would be optimal care, that is, the least use of medical intervention that will produce the best outcomes given a woman’s individual case, but you may have your reasons for wanting that induction, epidural, or cesarean. My goal is that whatever choices you make, you make with eyes open. Where I come in is that in order for you to decide what’s right, you need complete and accurate knowledge of the pros and cons of the full range of your options, and you’re unlikely to get it from practitioners of medical management, and, yes, there’s data showing that. You also need practical strategies for implementing your plans, and if you’re choosing a medical intervention, or it has become the best option for your circumstances, you need practical strategies for minimizing the chances of experiencing its downsides. Childbirth U will give you that too.

Enough said. If you’re the kind of person who wants to take charge of her birth, not just take someone’s word—including mine—for what you should be doing, Childbirth U is for you. And if you’re in the business of helping pregnant women, Childbirth U is for you too. Take a look at our affiliate program, Birth Pro Partners.

So, be my guest. Poke around. Check out the course content and dip into the blog. Come visit with me on CBU’s Facebook page. I would love it if you would let me be your bridge to the research evidence and your guide to navigating through the controversies, and just so we’re clear, I’m not here to empower you. I want to give you the ability to empower yourself.

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