One step that pregnant women can take towards making sure their care provider is familiar with the latest evidence-based maternity practices is to give their doctor or midwife a copy of the book “Optimal Care in Childbirth,” by Henci Goer and Amy Romano. Every maternity care provider should read this book, and keep it handy as a reference. Women might want to keep a copy for themselves too. Giving this book to your doctor or midwife sends a strong message that you value and expect to receive evidence-based maternity care and that you are savvy enough and motivated enough to seek out the evidence basis of their practice.
This book is not an easy read, nor is it intended as a reference for expectant women. Instead of “what to expect…” this book is full of detailed scientific evidence about the care birthing women should be given and uses the physiologic, or the normal natural physical process of birth as the basis of care. Authored by a medical writer and acknowledged expert in evidence-based maternity care and a research expert/midwife, “Optimal Care in Childbirth” gives thorough analyses of current medical maternity practices and the evidence that supports or refutes their use. It also provides strategies for optimal care and mini-reviews of the evidence, and leaves no stone unturned with respect to the scientific basis for cesarean surgery, induction of labor, augmentation of labor, positioning for labor and birth, care after birth, newborn practices, and more.
I have heard doctors and midwives complain that it is hard to keep up with the research because they are so busy delivering babies. I have also seen that “silos” exist, where doctors only read journals in their specialty, and miss out on the research that is conducted in related fields, such as midwifery, nursing, and childbirth education. This book captures research from many sources and packages it in a manner that is portable and easy to share with others. The mini-reviews provide quick reference points for decision-making in non-emergency situations.
The book costs $50, and by giving it as a gift to your doctor or midwife the message it sends is priceless: receiving evidence-based maternity care matters to you and you are willing to invest your time and your money in order to get it.
Do they already have a copy? Suggest they re-gift it to another doctor or midwife in the practice, or to the nurse’s station on the labor and delivery floor of the hospital, or to a nurse, or a hospital administrator, or…
Goer, H. and Romano, A. (2012). Opimal Care In Childbirth: The Case For a Physiologic Approach. Seattle, WA: Classic Day Publishing.
Available on Amazon.com
This is an unsolicited review and I receive no compensation for posting it.