I'm sorry if my post was interpeted as offering advice for particular situations, or a blanket recommendation. I was trying to point women towards information about the tests, and I did say "it can be important to look at the research, weigh the benefits and risks and your particular circumstances, and make an informed decision about your care." I also tried to provide links to articles with research so that women can look at the information for themselves to make an informed decision, rather than taking my (or anyone else's) word for it.
I also realize that this particular viewpoint (the nocebo effect and the ineffectiveness of routine testing for all women, without taking into account their particular circumstances and weighing the benefits and risks in that case) is not particularly popular, and does not sit well with many health care professionals. Nevertheless, there are midwives and doctors who do agree with it, and in fact those are the health care professionals that I have learned from. I am not a health care professional, so I am not qualified to offer advice to women about their particular situations. As a childbirth educator I can offer information, and I think it is important that women are aware that there is not unanimous agreement on these issues, and that some of the most respected voices for improving maternity care question the validity of routine prenatal testing.
I agree that "There are many valid reasons that a heath care provider would recommend any one of these tests to their patients." What we have been discussing is routine testing.
It seems that my information about urine strips may need to be assessed, which I will look into. A midwife I know uses this as part of her screening protocol for gestational diabetes, so I will ask her about it and look at the latest research.
The key here, which I think we are all trying to promote, is informed choice for each woman in her particular circumstances.
I think that my 'advertiser' identification is also detracting from this discussion, and I am not particularly impressed with mothering.com's recommendation that this would be a good way for me to let people know about my services. I will not be posting any more comments to the October 2011 DDC, as I can see that this is not the right place for me.
I, for one, appreciate the ddcc WildKingdom and NashvilleMidwife. Asheya, I'm sure you mean well and it's obvious that you care greatly about woman's birthing experiences and helping them make informed decisions which is great. But if you are posting to this DDC in your capacity as a birth educator, I think you are majorly overstepping your bounds with your posts here. Pointing people towards information so they can make their own informed decisions with the help of their health care providers is great. Saying, "Here are some studies you may want to look at and bring up with your doctor" is fine. But trying to interpret medical studies and reviews and then give advice based on them is just not something a childbirth educator is qualified to do. There are many valid reasons that a heath care provider would recommend any one of these tests to their patients.