News & Research Round-up: In Transition Edition
It’s been a busy week or so. In addition to my mad flurry to finish several projects before I begin with Childbirth Connection next week, we’ve been busy reviewing the many great applications we got for Community Manager of this blog. I’m glad I’m not the one who has to choose, because I love so many of the applicants and get excited about the different ways this blog could evolve under any of them. (Lamaze should be able to announce the new Community Manager by early November. Watch this space!)
Meanwhile, the world hasn’t stopped offering up fascinating things to blog about. So, here’s a round-up!
Speaking of round-up, the Lamaze Annual Conference returns to Texas in 2011. Abstracts are being accepted.
On the heels of my recent post about the limitations of standard evidence, the media and internet have been full of thought-provoking articles about the integrity and best use of scientific research. The Atlantic Monthly profiled one of the most outspoken skeptics of medical research in the feature-length article, “Lies, Damn Lies, and Medical Science” and e-Patients.net followed it up with a nice companion piece aptly titled, “Fixing Those Damn Lies.” Kent Bottles at the Health Care Blog weighs in on the politics of comparative effectiveness research, and Rachel Walden from Our Bodies, Our Blog offers a round-up of her own, with links and insights from the recent joint meeting of Consumers United for Evidence-Based Healthcare, the Cochrane Collaboration, and the Campbell Collaboration.
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement will offer several sessions on perinatal care at their upcoming National Forum, taking place December 5-8, 2010 in Orlando, FL: a learning lab entitled “Reducing Elective Near-Term Deliveries: When Doing Nothing Is the Right Thing” and a workshop “The Next Evolution of Neonatal Intensive Care,” among others.
The Effective Health Care Program of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is offering a free webcast, “Applying Existing Evidence to Obstetric Care“ on November 10 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET. The program will highlight AHRQ’s patient-centered outcomes research and review ways it can be used to support decision-making in clinical settings.
Several bloggers have written posts for the forthcoming blog carnival to raise awareness about Agnes Gereb, a Hungarian doctor and midwife who was jailed for attending an out-of-hospital birth. Rixa at Stand and Deliver has a nice summary of the issues. I have a post up at Giving Birth with Confidence about my two home births, one of which took place in a state where my midwives could have been arrested for attending me.
And in the maternity care journals:
Through November 15, the journal, Midwifery, is offering free access to a suite of articles on patient safety in maternity care. The issue includes contributions from former Science & Sensibility guest contributors Debra Bingham and Christine Morton.
If you’ve been around women laboring out of bed, you may have suspected that the purple vertical line on a woman’s low back late in labor signifies full dilation. Someone has finally studied this. (It correlates, but isn’t foolproof.)
Kathleen Fahy and Carolyn Hastie, subjects of one of my Consider the Source interviews, have, along with several additional co-authors, published a study comparing the outcomes of “holistic physiologic third stage care” with active management of the third stage. Their study, which looks only at low-risk women who had spontaneous vaginal births and no risk factors for hemorrhage, showed a markedly lower rate of postpartum blood loss in the women receiving physiologic care.
A woman’s brain grows after giving birth, and that growth happens in the areas of her brain that regulate how she responds to her infant. The same research team that conducted this study published a 2008 study in which they reported differences in brain activity between women who had vaginal births and other women who gave birth by cesarean. Both studies were small and limited, but I’m interested in watching for more research from the Yale Child Study Center. It has potential implications for labor and birth care as well as how we approach postpartum care and support.
I know I’ve missed plenty of other goodies. Feel free to leave your favorite links in the comments! I’ll be blogging for Lamaze for several weeks longer, then when the new Community Manager is all up to speed, I’ll be posting less frequently and on behalf of Childbirth Connection. Transition is hard, but in the end leads to great things…