Expert Advice

What is Evidence-Based Maternity Care?

You’re pregnant – awesome! One phrase you’ll hear now that wasn’t part of your mother’s pregnancy conversations is “evidence-based care.” What the heck is that, and who can you ask about it?

Evidence-based care means that your doctor, midwife, and hospital respect the most modern techniques and attitudes. From pregnancy through postpartum, these practitioners use a combination of recent scientific research, modern clinical expertise, and your own values.

It isn’t based on hospital, doctor or midwife convenience, engrained routines, or birth culture.

The problem is that new ideas can take a long time to infiltrate into common knowledge and conversation. Just like you were probably the first to explain ‘‘hashtag’’ to your grandmother, you could be the first person to explain to your doctor or hospital about a birth plan, delayed cord clamping, or not having continuous fetal monitor during labor.

 

YOUR CARE PROVIDER MAY BE THE NICEST PERSON IN THE WORLD AND STILL NOT KNOW THE LATEST PRACTICES.

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They may not believe the evidence, or are only confident doing things the same way they’ve done them since forever.

If you live in a conservative environment (or your care provider tends toward maternity care that is oh-so-20th-century), knowing how to refer doctors and hospitals to scientific evidence is important.

The US is shifting toward healthier births—especially for millennial moms and their lucky babes.

YOU have the power to speak up and ask questions. Women and their families are the change agents for their generation, and can bring their babies into the world according to what’s right for them. Talk about what you learn or desire, and find like-minded professionals to support you.

 

Here’s how to find evidence-based pregnancy and birth information:

  • The Cochrane Collaboration—the summaries are free and on the page there are links to other relevant podcasts, articles, or research
  • Evidence Based Birth — a go-to source for maternity care providers. Blog entries are free.
  • PubMed—a collection of research findings in the US National Library of Medicine. Summaries are free
  • PubMed Central (PMC)—complete research articles available to the public for free

 

WRITE YOUR BIRTH PLAN SO YOUR DESIRES ARE CLEAR, EVEN IF THE HOSPITAL HAS TO ADJUST A LITTLE TO ACCOMMODATE YOU.

Do you want to walk during labor? Say it! Evidence shows it’s great for you. http://www.cochrane.org/CD003934/PREG_mothers-position-during-the-first-stage-of-labour

Do you want baby to get oral vitamin K? Say that in your birth plan and pack the oral K into your hospital bag. Evidence shows it’s a healthy alternative to the shot. http://www.cochrane.org/CD002776/NEONATAL_prophylactic-vitamin-k-for-vitamin-k-deficiency-bleeding-in-neonates

Knowing what modern science has found—and what the best practices of modern practitioners are—helps you choose what’s best for you, write the best birth plan for your needs, and be prepared with the right tools in your hospital bag.

 

To learn more about evidence-based care, download our free Birth Plan eBook now. After three years of research, collaboration with more than 100 childbirth experts and resource centers from Healthy Child Healthy World to the American Association of Neonatal Nurses, the Best Ever Baby Birth Plan Guide is available for a free download.

This new resource for pregnant families is a compilation of top tips and advice from more than 20 nationally-recognized experts in the field including renowned pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene and GraceFull Birthing founder, midwife Elizabeth Bachner.  These trusted experts offer thoughtful guidance for whatever type of birthing experience parents want, in whichever setting they choose.

 

Published: August 19, 2015 | Reviewed by: Kim Walls, Natural Products Expert, Elizabeth Bachner, LM, CPM, L.Ac., Midwife | Last reviewed: August, 2015

Kim WallsWhat is Evidence-Based Maternity Care?

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