Have you ever seen the National Guideline Clearinghouse?  This is a place to go to help you determine what type of care is evidence based.  For example, read through the guidelines for prenatal care and after all the other explanations you will find the following recommendations: Practices to Consider Discontinuing Cervical assessment Pelvimetry Routine urine dipsticks and routine urinalysis Routine evaluation for edema Routine testing for cytomegalovirus (CMV), parvovirus, toxoplasmosis Routine nutritional supplements Routine testing for bacterial vaginosis Interesting, is it not?  What a great tool for helping families decide if the care they are receiving is actually the best quality. Enjoy!Read More →

Perhaps you think I think too highly of Childbirth Connection?  Don’t.  They freely offer a huge amount of evidence based pregnancy and childbirth information, and that makes them one of your best friends. I am lucky to be in school, because the university supplies me with access to any research article in any journal I would like, and I can get most of them instantly.  But if you are not in school, gaining access to research can be difficulty and costly.  There is only so much you can get from an abstract at Pub Med. This is why Childbirth Connection is so dear to myRead More →

I adore research.  I am a nerd, always have been.  But research is more than a science experiment.  Research helps us understand what is likely to happen when we proceed a particular way, and that knowledge gives us tremendous power to overcome labor challneges. But research is really only helpful if the results are reported accurately and the conclusions drawn make sense based on the data.  You need to understand how to read research.  You don’t have to like it, but you do need to be able to tell when something isn’t quite right. To help you become more fluent in research reading, I proposeRead More →

Hopefully you spent some time searching through the Childbirth Connection website yesterday.  In case you didn’t, I wanted to highlight another important document available from that sight.  It is the Listening to Mothers survey, and if you have never read it you need to. The Listening to Mother’s survey asks a cohort of women who recently gave birth about their birth experience.  From this data we are able to get an idea about the real rates of different interventions for childbirth, and how their birth experience impacted their lives. This may be a pay for download, it was when I got it, but the dataRead More →

I needed something fast to write about today, so I thought I would share about one of my favorite pregnancy books.  It’s not what you would find on most expectant mother’s shelves, but it is certainly something anyone who works with expectant mothers should read. The book?  A guide to effective care in pregnancy and childbirth. It details the research, which I think is nearly all from the Cochrane Collaboration, about pregnancy and childbirth in an attempt to define best practice in care.  The results are fascinating in some areas.  Want to know what I mean?  You can read it online at Childbirth Connection, andRead More →

I didn’t want to be a nurse. Even as I enrolled in nursing school I did it grudgingly. I could see the value of some nurses to the birth process, I certainly had my favorites at our local hospitals, but overall I subscribed to the stereotype that nurses were just there to do what the doctors told them. If I had to be a nurse to be a midwife I would do it, but I didn’t have to like it. But as I progressed through nursing school something changed in me, and it wasn’t my attitude about childbirth.  Instead it was my understanding of what a nurse wasRead More →

Today I completed my male genital exam check off in lab.  Yes, it is true.  In midwifery school I have been trained to assess the male reproductive anatomy.  Don’t worry, I checked off on female exams a few weeks ago.  But you might be wondering why a male exam is part of midwifery school. My path to midwifery has lead me to a nurse midwifery program.  The full program I am completing is called Family Nurse Midwife.  This means I will be able to provide primary care for everyone, young to old.  I will also be trained to attend a family during pregnancy and labor.Read More →

I have a confession to make, I’m exhausted. It’s true.  I’m tired and have difficulty focusing on my reading as long as I feel I should.  I’m pulled in many directions and even missed a deadline to sign up for a class I really was hoping to participate in.  I’m over-booked, which left very little reserve time for family illness. Of course we had to deal with family illness in the midst of my busiest weeks. This happens to everyone, and it will periodically happen to you too. If it is chronic (meaning you always feel this way) you need to take a step backRead More →

I wanted to share a thought that has been brewing in my head.  But to begin with, let me share the story of a young woman whose name I don’t remember. At the invitation of a teacher in the pregnant teen program, I visited this young woman at her school.  As her teacher introduced her, she told me she was 14 weeks pregnant.  I instinctively replied, congratulations.  The young lady looked very confused, then smiled and said thank you.  As she went to sit, the teacher pulled me aside to inform me this young lady was in a very bad situation and really needed to consider all her options.Read More →

It makes me sick to read these.  Apparently the rapes happen despite the presence of UN peace keepers. Read the story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/world/africa/04congo.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss My heart breaks for these women.  I pray for strength for the midwives, for my friends.Read More →