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Collaborative Maternity Care Improves Birth and Breastfeeding Outcomes


collaborative maternity careFewer cesarean births, shorter hospital stays and higher breastfeeding rates were the outcomes of a recent collaborative maternity care study that included more than 1200 women at the South Community Birth Program in Vancouver, reports the University of British Columbia today.


The program’s midwives, family physicians, nurses and doulas provide care as a team, with many of the women and their partners receiving some of their care and counseling in a group setting. The study compared those women’s outcomes with an equal number of women receiving standard care at other sites.


In addition to the lower rates of caesarean sections (21 per cent in the program compared with 31 per cent in standard care), shorter hospital stays (51 hours compared with 73 hours) and higher breastfeeding rates (86 per cent compared with 62 per cent), women in the South Community Birth Program were more likely to be cared for by a midwife instead of an obstetrician, and less likely to use an epidural injection for pain relief.


Read more: Collaborative maternity program results in fewer C-sections, shorter hospital stays: UBC/CFRI research



Melanie Mayo-Laakso

About

Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering.com. Mothering is the birthplace of natural family living and attachment parenting. We celebrate the experience of parenthood as worthy of one's best efforts and are at once fierce advocates for children and gentle supporters of parents.



Comments (2)

Is it something to be proud of that low risk, healthy women have major abdominal surgery 21% of the time? Can a team of midwives, doulas and general practitioners not do better than that? To me, this study is simply more evidence that entering a hospital puts a birthing woman at high risk of dangerous medical procedures. Just because we're comparing a terrible rate of surgery (21%) to a monstrous one (31%) is no cause to be dancing in the streets.
In our modern world, it is so easy to get caught up in our own lives and loose that sense of community that early generations had. Being pregnant or a new mother on your own can be daunting, especially when you feel like you have to go out and get all the facts yourself. The internet is a wonderful tool and can foster its own sense of community, but nothing really compares to sitting down to lunch with someone who's already been there. It is no surprise to me that mammas that spend time learning together are more likely to make healthy choices for themselves and their babies, and tend to heal more quickly. Benefiting from each other's experience and research and that sense of camaraderie is something that is all too often lost these days. Being part of a community gives you the opportunity to talk about new ideas in a safe setting. Getting the honest opinions of other mothers can give you the courage to do something your other friends or family might find strange, like choosing to give birth without an epidural. It's all about finding out what's best for your family and implementing it, regardless of what other people without the experience might say or think.
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