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In this column, the author presents summaries of four research studies that further support the benefits of normal birth. The topics of the studies address the downsides of routine episiotomy, the link of epidural analgesia to an increased risk of occiput-posterior babies, the relationship between normal birth and successful breastfeeding, and results from the first national survey of doulas.
In this column, the author introduces a special issue of the Journal of Perinatal Education, in which a position paper and six care practice papers, published by Lamaze International and reprinted here with permission, are presented along with accompanying commentary. Together, these papers present evidence in support of the six care practices that promote, protect, and support normal birth.
- Go to article: Preparing Expectant Couples for New-Parent Experiences: A Comparison of Two Models of Antenatal Education
Preparing Expectant Couples for New-Parent Experiences: A Comparison of Two Models of Antenatal Education
This paper describes a pilot antenatal education program intended to better prepare couples for the early weeks of lifestyle changes and parenting. Eight weeks after birth, data were collected by questionnaire from 19 couples who participated in a pilot program and from 14 couples who were enrolled in a routine hospital program. Women in the pilot program were significantly more satisfied with their experience of parenthood. Facilitated gender-specific discussion groups formed a key strategy in the pilot program.
A Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator asks about the use of the name Lamaze, which is a licensed (trademark) name. A trademark is a mark of authenticity. It protects both the users and the consumers. Penalty for unauthorized use (e.g., by a childbirth educator who is not an LCCE) can be substantial.
- Go to article: Report from the Country of Georgia: Protecting and Promoting Breastfeeding through Regulation of Artificial-Feeding Marketing Practices
Report from the Country of Georgia: Protecting and Promoting Breastfeeding through Regulation of Artificial-Feeding Marketing Practices
This paper highlights the southwest Asian country of Georgia’s experience in creating efforts to protect and promote breastfeeding and to implement the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. Since 1994, the country of Georgia (of the former Soviet Union) has successfully implemented the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. In 1997–1998, Georgia conducted a study throughout the country’s various regions to evaluate compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. The research demonstrated numerous violations of the code by various companies and confirmed the necessity of ongoing activities to promote implementation of the code. Due to the great effort of Georgia’s Ministry of Health and the International Baby-Food Action Network [IBFAN] Georgian group called “Claritas,” the law titled “On Protection and Promotion of Breastfeeding and Regulation of Artificial Feeding” was adopted in 1999 by the country’s parliament. As a result, Georgia has witnessed a sharp increase in breastfeeding percentages, the designation of baby-friendly status at 14 maternity houses, and a decrease in the advertisement of artificial-feeding products.
In this position paper—one of six care practice papers published by Lamaze International and reprinted here with permission—the value of keeping mothers and their babies together from the moment of birth is discussed and presented as an evidenced-based practice that helps promote, protect, and support normal birth. The paper is written for childbearing women and their families. Babies held skin-to-skin with their mothers cry less often, breathe easier, and stay warmer than babies who are separated from their mothers. They also instinctively attach to the breast and begin breastfeeding, usually within one hour of birth. The advantages of rooming-in for mother and baby are also discussed. The accompanying commentary—written by two leading professionals in the field of maternity care and pediatrics—provides further evidence to support the practice of keeping mothers and their babies together after birth. Lamaze International encourages women to give birth in settings that do not separate mothers and babies after birth.