Birth Planning, Research

How to find research about your options for labor and childbirth

Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group – This is a listing of all the literature reviews on pregnancy and childbirth from the Cochrane Review. Cochrane is the source for accurate research information. They make recomendations based on reviews of the available research. If there is no research, they say so.

Medscape – Medscape provides articles about the latest research and gives you the ability to look through the abstracts available in their network at on Medline. I think you need to register to use this service, but it is free.

The Centers for Disease Control – There is so much information here it is sometimes hard to find just what you are looking for. Try to become familiar with what they have to offer.

The National Institutes for Health – The NIH funds research throughout the country on every health topic imaginable. Once again, it is a LARGE amount of information. Familiarize yourself with what they have to offer.

Biomed Central – This site is run by a publisher. Some of their journals have full content online and are accessable without a subscription.

Managing Complications in Pregnancy and Childbirth – This is a teaching tool put out by Johns Hopkins and Maternal and Neonatal Health. It is designed to teach the concepts in the book by the same name published by the world health organization. It may help you understand the rational behind some procedures.

The World Health Organization – WHO gives us a global look at issues of maternal and fetal health.

Midwifery Today – They publish some of the articles from their magazine on the internet. Sign up for the free e-newsletter if you haven’t already. – Gentle Birth is the keeper of what is called the “midwifery archives.” They are the summary of information that was posted on various newgroups and e-mail lists.

La Leche League – The world leader in accurate and useful breastfeeding information.

Books and Articles

Some magazines and books (such as Henci Goer’s Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth) will give the references used to write the articles. You can use the reference to try to locate the original research to read it for yourself.

In Your Community

Don’t forget to ask what resources are available at your local library. Although my library does not have subcriptions to medical journals, it does give me access to many journals online. Librarians can also be a source of information on how to find the specific information you are looking for.

If you live near a university, visit their science library. They will have access to any journal either online or through print. If you are able to get a library card for them, they will even help you get copies of articles that are not in their collection.

Jennifer (Author)