Maternity Health Articles 2018-04-20T19:57:11+00:00

Maternity Health

Disclaimer: The following are original articles related to maternity health and a healthy pregnancy. Some articles are slightly dated, but the information is accurate and educational for those preparing for childbirth.

Recent Maternity Health-Related Articles

Experts Urge Support of Bills to Combat Maternal Mortality
MedPage Today, Molly Walker, 4/19/2018
This article summarizes the Capitol Hill briefing that the Foundation hosted on Thursday, April 19 in an effort to urge lawmakers to pass  H.R. 1318 (Preventing Maternal Deaths Act) and of S. 1112 (Maternal Health Accountability Act). The briefing featured Anne Loirette of Timéo et les Autres, Jennie Joseph of Commonsense Childbirth and creator of The JJ Way (via a pre-recorded video), Dr. Michael Lu of George Washington University, Shanna Cox of CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health, and Claudia Booker, a certified midwife. Maddy Oden served as the event moderator.

Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis
The New York Times Magazine, Linda Villarosa, 4/11/18
This in-depth article sheds light on why black women in America experience significantly worse maternal health outcomes than white women. The reporter points to societal racism and racial bias in the health care system as key reasons to racial disparities in maternal and infant mortality rates.

Here’s One Issue Blue and Red States Agree On: Preventing Deaths of Expectant and New Mothers
ProPublica, Nina Martin and Robin Fields, 3/26/18
In the latest article of ProPublica’s award-winning ‘Lost Mothers’ series, reporters Nina Martin and Robin Fields highlight states’ efforts to establish maternal mortality review committees in response to increased awareness of the high rate of maternal deaths in our country. About 35 states have established review committees, which would help states to examine deaths and near-deaths among expectant and new mothers and determine strategies to improving maternal health.

Systemic Racism Might Help Explain Why Black Women Are More Likely to Die From Pregnancy Than White Women
Jezebel, Prachi Gupta, 2/1/18
new report by the Center for American Progress analyzing why black women are at the forefront of America’s maternal mortality crisis suggests that lifelong stress from racism and sexism may be to blame. The report analyzed multiple studies on maternal and infant mortality and found that controlling for poverty, mental and physical health, and prenatal care did not fully explain why black women die at such a higher rates.

Spinning Babies – Techniques for Easier Birthing
Spinning Babies childbirth education promotes trust and comfort through fetal positioning and natural childbirth. Learn how to relax the birthing process through various techniques that can get your baby in the right position.

Too many black women like Erica Garner are dying in America’s maternal mortality crisis
Vox, P.R. Lockhart, 1/10/18
This article about the death of Erica Garner highlights the severe racial disparities the U.S. faces with maternal mortality. Research shows that various factors – like institutionalized racism, inadequate access to pre- and postnatal care, chronic stress, and lack of medical treatment before childbirth – contribute to high rates of maternal mortality among women of color. Her death is another story that shows the need for the U.S. to address this alarming racial disparity.

Evidence grows that normal childbirth takes longer than we thought
Science News, Aimee Cunningham, 1/16/18
A new study challenges the notion that the cervix should dilate by one centimeter per hour, changing the way doctors perceive the length of time it takes to deliver a baby. The study found that as long as the vital signs of the mother and baby are fine and the baby’s head is descending, a dilation rate of less than 1 centimeter per hour is not a sufficient reason to intervene.

Black Women Disproportionately Suffer Complications of Pregnancy and Childbirth. Let’s Talk About It.
ProPublica, Adriana Gallardo, 12/8/17
In this article, reporter Adriana Gallardo highlights the stark racial disparities in pregnancy-related complications, highlighting that black mothers are three to four times more likely than white mothers to die of causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. In an effort to get to the root of this issue, the reporter identified six black women who suffered severe pregnancy complications, asked them to share their story with a loved one, and featured “snippets” of these conversations in this article. The reporter encourages others who suffered a pregnancy-related complication to facilitate and record their own conversation about their experience with their mother, daughter or granddaughter, and created a list of questions to help guide these conversations.

Misoprostol drug to be withdrawn from French market (Republished Article)
The Lancet, Barbara Casassus, 10/28/17
–    Original Article

A Matter Of Life & Death: Why Are Black Women In The U.S. More Likely To Die During Or After Childbirth?
Essence, Meaghan Winter, 9/26/17
This is the story of Fathiyyah “Tia” Doster and the pregnancy complications that she experience.

Epidurals: risks and concerns for mother and baby 
Dr. Sarah J. Buckley, 2005
In this article, previously published in Mothering magazine, Dr. Sarah Buckley provides a comprehensive overview of the history of epidurals and the risks associated with its use in childbirth. Dr. Buckley advises that while epidurals are an effective pain-relief procedure for women in labor, they should be used with caution. Some of the risks of epidurals include: slower labor, blood pressure drop, breathing difficulties, and postpartum hemorrhaging. Additionally, women who use epidurals report feeling less satisfied with their birth experience than women who do not. This may be due to epidurals’ interference with the body’s natural production and release of hormones during labor that help a mother move past the pain. Expecting mothers should take all of this information into account before giving birth, and feel confident discussing the use of epidurals with their caregiver.

Why Is U.S. Maternal Mortality So High?
Slate, By Cara Heuser and Chavi Eve Karkowsky, 5/23/17
The main reason is not medical errors. It’s poverty and access to health care.

ACOG’s New Childbirth Recommendations Aim to Limit Interventions
Think About Now, By Emily Wade, 5/3/17
In February 2017, ACOG released a committee opinion report titled “Approaches to Limit Intervention During Labor and Birth” which lists routine interventions that they think are not necessary or beneficial and should no longer be practiced.

Twin Births: Vaginal Delivery Safer Than Caesarean
Medscape, Norra MacReady, 5/9/17
Results of a large, population-based study of twin births show that vaginal delivery is associated with less neonatal morbidity and mortality than cesarean delivery, and should be the birth method of choice when the first twin has a cephalic presentation.

ACOG: Hands-Off Approach for Low-Risk Pregnancies
MedPage Today, Molly Walker, 1/25/17
Obstetric care providers should attempt to limit labor and delivery interventions for “low-risk” term pregnancies, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Skip The Newborn Vit. K Shot
The Healthy Home Economist Oct. 2017, by Sarah
Oral Vit. K and other alternatives to the Vit. K shot, much safer.

US maternal mortality rate on the uptick – statistics
Becker’s ASC Review, Mary Rechtoris, 10/7/16
Mary Rechtoris brings attention to the rise of maternal mortality rates and 6 statistics that you need to know.

Surprise Twin VBAC at Home
by Jessica Austin on October 28, 2017 in Twins, Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) • 0 Comments
A family’s story of their amazing twin VBAC at Home.

Why U.S. Women Still Die During Childbirth
Time, Alexandra Sifferlin, 9/27/16
Alexandra Sifferlin reports some of the reasons at for the maternal mortality rate in the United States. There are problems keeping track of records, obesity, access is inconsistent, racial disparities, more cesarean births, and women are having children much later in life.

Maternal Mortality Rate in U.S. Rises, Defying Global Trend, Study Finds
The New York Times, Sabrina Tavernise, 9/21/16
A recent study shows that maternal mortality rates in the United States may be linked to obesity. The study claims that the healthcare system doesn’t provide adequate care for chronic conditions.

Maternal health: Disparities in care quality, access to services a major concern
Medical News Today, Honor Whiteman, 9/16/16
A new series of studies investigated the quality of health care for women and babies. Some factors include poor access to quality maternal health care and disparities across high-income countries, but the article also provides some key strategies to help fix this problem.

NICE  Guidelines on Inducing Labor
Although a very long article (32 pages) on induction, the NICE guidelines , from the UK are very through and state that “misoprostol should only be given in the case of fetal death”. The guidelines also stress the necessity of FULLY informed consent and take into account the wishes of the mom.