Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Education in childbirth

Contra Costa Times, California, November 4, 2006
Education in childbirth
Research turns up answers and questions

By Ann Tatko-Peterson

IN TWO YEARS, Tina Cassidy has become the nation's resident expert on birthing babies. The first-time author spent considerable time in hospitals, birth centers and a HypnoBirthing class. She interviewed midwives, doulas, health educators and parents. She watched births -- in homes and in hospitals, natural and cesarean, twins to triplets.

Yet when the research was done and her book was written, Cassidy found she still couldn't answer the most-asked question:

What's the best way to give birth?

Cassidy laughs as she sits near the pool at the Claremont Resort & Spa in Berkeley. "Not to be cute," she says, "it's really whatever way the woman feels comfortable."

"You can't advocate home birth if the woman's going to be freaked out by having the baby at home. By the same token, someone could go blindly to the hospital without really thinking about it and when they get there, their labor stalls because they're scared."

To read the rest of this article, visit 

Colette's comment: This is promoting a new book. While I'd hardly call Tina Cassiday our "nation's expert" in birth, she does seem to have a sensible attitude about why the mother should be the one to choose the type of birth she wants. Disclosure: I have not read the book.

Women told to give birth at home

BBC on-line, UK, November , 2006

Mothers-to-be in Bridlington will be encouraged to opt for home births

A maternity unit in Bridlington is to close as an NHS trust attempts to claw back £7m of overspending.

Hospital bosses say mothers-to-be in the town will be encouraged to opt for home births.

The move is part of a raft of measures announced by Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare Trust on Friday, in a bid to save £4.5m a year.

The trust also announced a recruitment freeze, but said it did not plan any compulsory redundancies.

To read the rest of the article visit

While I love the idea that the U.K. is officially promoting home birth, I don't think anyone should tell a woman where to give birth.

Two area midwives face expiring agreement

Oneonta Daily Star - Oneonta,NY, October 31, 2006

By Amy L. Ashbridge
Staff Writer

The agreement between a local health-care provider and its midwives has ended, leaving one midwife no option but to close her practice at the end of November.

Certified nurse-midwives Maureen Sullivan and Lucia Jenkusky have been informed that an agreement they had with Dr. Will Lee will no longer be in place next year, Sullivan said last week.

Having been unable to find an obstetrician to start a new agreement, Sullivan said she is looking to leave the area so she can continue practicing. She will close in Oneonta as of Nov. 30.

"I have to. I have no choice," Sullivan said. "I love what I do. I don’t want to give it up. I feel so honored to be at a birth."

State law requires that midwives have a "collaborative agreement" with an obstetrician. That agreement allows the midwife to "consult with them immediately if complications arise at any time during the childbearing process," according to the state Board of Midwifery.

To read the rest of this article visit

A simpler path to midwifery

The Australian, November 01, 2006

Bernard Lane

NEXT year Emily Costelloe, 19, hopes to be among the first students in a new midwifery course at the University of Queensland. "It's quicker to become a midwife this way," she says.

If she were to take the more familiar path, studying midwifery as a postgraduate after completing a nursing degree, she would finish at the end of 2010. UQ's new undergraduate course could save her a year.

It's a first for Queensland but Victoria and South Australia have already followed an international trend to grant midwifery independence from nursing.

To read the rest of the article visit,20867,20678684-12332,00.html

Colette's comment: Australia and the U.S. are probably the only two countries in the world with nurse-midwives. This new Australian program sounds similar to the North American Registry of Midwives CPM.

Clinic cuts deliver midwife changes

Nashua Telegraph, New Hampshire, October 31, 2006

By HATTIE BERNSTEIN, Telegraph Staff

Pamela Berube-Peters felt rushed during her first visit to her female obstetrician/gynecologist and switched to a nurse-midwife, a happier match for the then first-time mother-to-be.

A Francestown resident, Berube-Peters was so pleased with her care that after her nurse-midwife, Cynthia Coughlin, left Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinic in Nashua recently, Berube-Peters followed.

Now the patient travels to the clinic in Chelmsford, Mass., where Coughlin and two other nurse-midwives, previously at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, are now practicing.

“Due to my positive experience during my pregnancy and birth of my child, I chose to continue to see Cynthia for my regular annual checkups,” Berube-Peters wrote in an e-mail.

Coughlin and two other nurse-midwives, three of the four full-timers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic in Nashua, joined Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Chelmsford, Mass., earlier this month.

The three left as a result of a change the clinic made to its department of obstetrics, gynecology and nurse-midwifery earlier this year, taking the nurse-midwives off the call schedule. As a result, nurse-midwives have stopped attending births except when they occur during office hours.

Read the rest of the article at

Colette's comment: This is a disturbing trend: clinics and hospitals cutting services or flat-out "firing" nurse-midwives. Usually the motive is profit (doctors create more "billable procedures" in labor and deliver)

Home birth a family affair (New Zeland)

Hawkes Bay Today, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, October 27, 2006

Alex Cameron has never liked hospitals, not even when he worked in one, so when his wife Ruth decided to have their first son at home he was rapt.

"It meant I could be more involved. In a hospital I wouldn't have been able to do anything - just sit there and hold her hand," the former army medic said.

When Jack was born 20 months ago and then Isaac eight months ago Alex was on hand to run the baths, lay down the tarpaulin and sheets in the lounge and serve coffee on demand.

Read the rest of the article at

Colette's comment: typical feel-good homebirth story

Friday, February 9, 2007

A strange cure for the baby blues

DAILY MAIL (UK) , October 24, 2006

As Margherita Watt, in a state of euphoric exhaustion, lay cradling her newborn daughter, Dixie, following a seven-hour natural water birth at home, her husband, Will, dutifully went to the kitchen to prepare her first proper meal.

A short while later, he returned with a cup of strong tea and a plate of what looked like chopped steak fried in olive oil for his wife.

Tentatively, she took a bite, chewed and swallowed rather quickly to avoid thinking too much about what she was eating. 'It tasted a bit like a rich, gamey meat,' says Margherita, 28, a former PR executive, who gave birth 12 weeks ago. 'I can't say I particularly enjoyed it. I treated it a bit like you do medicine - something to get over and done with swiftly - but it was no big deal.'

Read the rest of the article at

Colette's comment: Can you guess what the "cure" is? There's a hing in the labels. Would you do this?

Intestinal bug jumps from hosptial setting

USA TODAY October 15, 2006

By Anita Manning, USA TODAY

An ugly bug that causes diarrhea and colitis is being found more often and in different settings than previously known, posing new challenges for doctors, researchers report.

Scientists in Toronto at a meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, which ended Sunday, presented studies on Clostridium difficile, an intestinal infection that generally becomes a problem in people who are hospitalized and on antibiotics. New data suggest it is now infecting healthy people.

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Colette's comment: The article also mentions that doctors should have heightened awareness about this disease spreading to pregnant women and women giving birth.