FRIDAY! FRIDAY! FRIDAY!
We’re excited around here. The playgrounds have officially melted and they are ready for PLAY! My kids and I played hide and seek for 30 minutes straight this week because we were so happy to just run around.
Did you see the IOB Visit tool launch this week?
These tools are part of a series we’re walking through around here!
The midwife in me is loving how these tools are coming together. It’s truly a work of love. I think each one takes me around 50 hours to research, design and complete. But the work is really important and that is what matters. Tools are free and I would love any feedback from fellow midwives or mamas. I keep finding resources to add to them too! The version and updated dates are always at the bottom of the page.
I also got to attend a breastfeeding conference this week – virtually, of course – and the education was so replenishing. I actually would prefer some more virtual conferences in the future. Being able to knock out my laundry, dishes, other mama to dos, while listening and engaging has been awesome. Maybe that will be a positive gain on the backside of the pandemic?
Okay, let’s dive in. Disclaimer, I definitely didn’t intend to make this Five a journal club, but that’s how it came together!
1. U.S. Breastfeeding Committee
I learned so much about breastfeeding this week but one of the gold nuggets was this committee. I would talk to a wall about the benefits of breastfeeding – I’m that passionate about it! But that doesn’t help anyone (and the wall doesn’t care). This website offers a “Take Action” page that encourage women to share their stories about breastfeeding. If you have a moment to check out the page, share your story, or just sign up for their emails, this is one of the best organizations to follow. Breastfeeding offers amazing benefits to babes, mamas and families that cannot be matched by formula.
Also consider taking a look at thier fact sheets. There are a few to choose from and I find these are a really simple way to learn more about a topic or to offer more information to your patients or fellow mamas. Even if you aren’t as passionate about breastfeeding as I am, I think everyone can get on board with more maternity and paternity leave. The benefits of extended maternity/paternity leave for a household are amazing. And every family should have the opportunity to bond, meet and adapt to each and every baby they have without the constraints of returning to work or worrying about losing a job.
2. Overuse and underuse in health care
Ready for a brain exercise? Read this article from The Lancet. I think this applies to every person who access health care – that’s patients to providers and everyone in between. Overuse is so prevalent in obstetrics. A simple example is the use of continuous electronic fetal monitoring and the opportunity to instead use intermittent monitoring that many providers or nurses overlook. The article talks about antibiotic use, hysterectomy rates and cesarean rates rates in some shocking statistics. For example, it’s estimated that 6 million cesarean sections are performed “excessively” each year. Excessively isn’t well defined, but all you have to do it look at the cesarean rates over the past 4 decades to see what happened to the trend.
3. This study examining birth outcomes in women with obesity. In short, outcomes were all similar for “antenatal complications, proportion of prolonged pregnancy, prolonged first and second stage labor, rupture of membranes longer than 24 hours, postpartum hemorrhage, or newborn outcomes between women with obese BMIs and normal BMIs.”
I found a couple of things interesting.
- The transfer rate for obese women was higher: 30.7% vs 19.9%. (Both of these transfer rates seem higher than the average though – I don’t work in a birth center but generally a 10% transfer rate is expected.)
- The GBS (group beta streptococcus) rate was also higher in obese women: 17.6% vs 11.6%. (The GBS colonization rate can vary from 10-30% depending on a population; the study didn’t offer any speculations on why there was a difference between the rates.)
- And, the C/S rate was high for obese women: 11.1% vs 5.8%. (Although 11% is much lower than the national average rate!).
This type of data allows for better counseling if an obese woman desire a birth in a birth center. Most women find that facts are easier to accept than fear and these statistics do just that! I hope to see more studies in the future – especially those that support a birth center as an option for place of birth for any low risk woman.
4. An app can help reduce postpartum weight retention!
In my experience, the more babies you have, the harder it is to lose the weight! Baby number three is only 4 months old but I have had to be more intentional about exercise and diet with this postpartum period than with the other two combined! This article looked at if using an app helped women to lose with postpartum weight and measured their weight loss at 4 months and 6 months postpartum.
The study found use of an app helped women to lose about 8-10 pounds during the postpartum period. For practice, if women are looking for ways to restart exercise and prevent weight retention, use of an app may be appropriate to aid in a mama’s goals. I hope we’ll see more research in this area. There is a huge opportunity to improve postpartum and interconception care!
5. What is your state doing about preconception care?
I told you guys – preconception and postpartum care are at the top of my agenda these days to promote and improve. In my research, there are some states that have recognized the value of preconception care, but everyone needs to do better. This is one of the reasons I made a preconception care tool. There is so much to cover and many women miss the opportunity for this type of counseling because 50% of pregnancies are unplanned. What is your state doing to improve preconception care? Can you help improve a current initiative? Why not start an intiative?
That’s a wrap for the Five. I don’t have any extra goodies this week!
Hope your weekend is restful. I learned in my conference this week that nursing mothers in their baby’s first year of life lose 700 hours of sleep. 700! I feel that for sure but wow, that was a lot higher than I thought. I no longer have guilt about taking naps. If I can find where the number came from I will – because that is a statistic I want to know more about. I think it mothers heard a quantifiable number, they would give themself more grace for being so tired. It’s just a phase mamas!
Would you consider recommending the blog to a friend this week? Your recommendation increases the number of mamas and families that A Midwife Nation can reach. Education and inspiration equal empowerment. And when you can empower a mama, that changes everything.
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1 year ago on the blog…Friday Five (#20) – this shared decision making tool deserves another shout out!