My dad is a huge Consumer Reports guru and sent me this article: What To Reject When You’re Expecting.
I found it to be a pretty sound article full of stats and research that fit in line with other (more sensationalized) articles, books and movies I’ve read. I think it’s important to note that the author used words like “normal” and “low risk” frequently – no one is trying to say any of these are bad if baby’s health is at risk.
10 Overused Procedures
(See the article for the why!)
- A C-section with a low-risk first birth [The national C-section rate hovers between 30-35%; Ina May Gaskin’s is less than 2%]
- An automatic second c-section [VBACs have declined drastically in the last few decades)
- An elective early delivery [Even though 37 weeks is term, there is research that suggestions 39 weeks or later have less health problems]
- Inducing labor without a medical reason [This relates to yesterday’s post on the due date being an estimate. I’m not sure why anyone would choose induction – maybe a really serious date conflict?]
- Ultrasounds after 24 weeks [ <--- I am totally guilty of this one]
- Continuous electronic fetal monitoring [Ina May talks about this – how you’re more likely to see “problems” that aren’t really problems and that intermittent monitoring catches most all dangers]
- Early epidurals [I can see why these would be requested for those who don’t care to feel active labor – why not?]
- Routinely rupturing the amniotic membranes [I was surprised to read this doesn’t really have an effect and may increase c-section risk according to the research cited in the article because this is something I thought was pretty safe and common]
- Routine episiotomies [I think it’s been pretty clearly stated across the board that unless there is a reason to do one, tearing is preferred]
- Sending your newborn to the nursery [Luckily our hospital supports babies in the room, but I’ve heard several moms say that sometimes just getting a few hours of solid sleep is worth sending them to the tender care of nurses for a little bit, but the article says sleep is the same…I find that hard to believe!]
The 10 Things You Should Do During Your Pregnancy list I found to be pretty good too. Have a backup plan, try to turn a breech baby, stay at home during early labor, be patient, hire a doula, listen to yourself, skin to skin – all good ideas.
What are your thoughts on the list? Do you disagree with any of Consumer Reports’ bullet points?
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