What's New in The Journal of Perinatal Education? July 2016 Update

JPE cover.jpgOne of the valuable benefits for Lamaze International members is a subscription to Lamaze International's official journal - The Journal of Perinatal Childbirth Education, whose mission is to promote, support, and protect natural, safe, and healthy birth through education and advocacy. The journal publishes peer-reviewed articles and evidence-based, practical resources that childbirth educators and other health care professionals can use to enhance the quality and effectiveness of their care or teaching to prepare expectant parents for birth.

Through evidence-based articles, the JPE advances the knowledge of aspiring and seasoned educators in any setting-independent or private practice, community, hospital, nursing or midwifery school-and informs educators and other health care professionals on research that will improve their practice and their efforts to support natural, safe, and healthy birth.

The JPE also publishes features that provide practical resources and advice health care professionals can use to enhance the quality and effectiveness of their care or teaching to prepare expectant parents for birth. The journal's content focuses on pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period, breastfeeding, neonatal care, early parenting, and young family development. In addition to childbirth educators, the JPE's readers include nurses, midwives, physicians, and other professionals involved with perinatal education and maternal-child health care.

Consider joining Lamaze International to receive this member benefit along with other perks.  There is value and benefit to all birth professionals.

This quarter's publication is, as usual, chock full of useful information.  Articles include:

Does Childbirth Education Make a Difference

Author: Lothian, Judith


Childbirth education is designed to help women access accurate and up to date information about childbirth and make informed decisions about their care. Exposure to evidence based information about maternity care practices should assist women to make informed decisions that are based on that evidence. Evidence based childbirth education should ultimately affect outcomes but there is a dearth of research that looks at the outcomes of childbirth education. This editorial suggests that this research is long overdue.

Our Three Children

Author: Tim Dolan


In this column, a father shares fond memories of the births of his three children in the 1970s. His story highlights the importance of knowledge and a willingness to speak up to have a positive birth experience. Although the births—an unexpected cesarean, a vaginal birth after cesarean, and a home birth—took place decades ago, the choices this couple faced and the challenges they experienced are not too different from today.

Overdue: Medicaid and Private Insurance Coverage of Doula Care to Stengthen Maternal and Infant Health

Authors:Nan Stauss, Carol Sakala, Maureen P. Corry


Continuous labor support by a trained doula has proven benefits and is recognized as an effective strategy to improve maternal and infant health, enhance engagement and satisfaction with maternity care, and reduce spending. Community-based doula programs can also reduce or eliminate health disparities by providing support to women most at risk for poor outcomes. The most effective way to increase use of this evidence-based service would be to eliminate cost barriers. Key recommendations identify numerous pathways to pursue Medicaid and private insurance coverage of doula care. This comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of reimbursement options provides the doula, childbirth, and quality communities, as well as policy makers, with many approaches to increasing access to this high-value form of care.

Factors Associated with Exclusive Breastfeeding Through Four Weeks Postpartum in Thai Adolescent Mother

Authors: Kanhadilok, Supannee; McCain, Nancy L.; McGrath, Jacqueline M.; Jallo, Nancy; Price, Sarah K.; Chiaranai, Chantira


Breastfeeding initiation and duration are decreased in adolescent mothers compared to older mothers. A prospective descriptive cohort design was used to explore personal, social, cultural, and infant factors that explain and predict breastfeeding initiation and maintenance at 4 weeks postpartum. Adolescent mothers (N = 120) were recruited at prenatal clinics in Thailand. Data were collected at enrollment, during birth hospitalization (N = 102), and at 4 weeks postpartum (N = 96). Findings revealed breastfeeding attitudes, social support, and cultural beliefs about “being a good mother” were positively correlated with breastfeeding initiation. Furthermore, breastfeeding attitudes and social support were significant positive predictors of exclusive breastfeeding (both p ≥ .01) continuation through 4 weeks, whereas infant temperament was a significant negative predictor (p ≥ .04). Maternal competence at 4 weeks postpartum was also positively correlated with exclusive breastfeeding continuation.

Mindful-Based Childbirth Education: Incorporating Adult and Experiential Learning with Mindul-Based Stress Reduction in Childbirth Education.

Authors: Hauck, Yvonne; Fisher, Colleen; Byrne, Jean; Bayes, Sara


Informed choice is an expectation of today’s parents. Concern is evident around whether education models are evolving to ensure flexibility for parents to access options perceived as meeting their needs. Historical and current evidence around childbirth education models including the introduction of mindfulness to parent education will be presented. The aim of this article is to describe the rationale for incorporating adult and experiential learning with mindfulness-based stress reduction in a childbirth education program implemented in Western Australia. The curriculum of the Mindfulness Based Childbirth Education 8-week program is shared with corresponding learning objectives for each session. Examples of educational materials that demonstrate how adult and experiential learning were embedded in the curriculum are presented.

What Motivates People to Attend Birth Doula Trainings

Author: Gilliland, Amy L.


Eighteen identified motivations for attending a birth doula training workshop were ranked by 467 participants (466 females, 1 male) in 2010 and 2013. Participants selected a variety of reasons but only 30% chose to “become a professional doula” as their main reason. Another 20% wanted to “become a midwife.” Remaining participants selected 16 other professional and personal motivations, such as “increase birth knowledge,” “understand my own births,” “make future births better,” and “help women have better births (not as a professional).” One quarter had not attended a birth or had a child. Besides career training, these workshops are filling a cultural gap in childbirth education for people who are not expectant parents, and who intend to use this knowledge in unanticipated ways.
Perinatal Music Therapy and Antenatal Music Classes; Principles, Mechanisms, and Benefits
Author: Mastnak, Wolfgang
Antenatal music activities are in the ascendant. Regarding evidence-based research, the article advocates 5 main aims: music therapeutic control of pre- and perinatal stress, anxiety, and depression; music-related mental and physical birth preparation comprising cognitive adjustment, emotional regulation, physical activity, relaxation and pain management, and social inclusion; music-associated bonding and self-efficacy; prenatal sound stimulation to trigger learning processes, pedagogical priming and brain maturation; music activities to facilitate the child’s acculturation and adaptive self-regulation. Underlying mechanisms such as neuroplasticity help to understand the multifaceted effects of music in pre- and perinatal care. Individual conditions and features of the mother and her child have to be taken into account and music interventions to be harmonized with complementary perinatal programs.
Pregnancy-Related Anxiety in Women Who Conceive Via In Vitro Fertilization: A Mixed Methods Approach
Authors: Stevenson, Eleanor L.; Trotter, Kathryn J.; Bergh, Catherine; Sloane, Richard

The process of in vitro fertilization (IVF) causes anxiety, but it is unclear whether this anxiety continues into pregnancy and affects childbirth preparation. This study administered the pregnancy-related anxiety measure to 144 women during their second trimester. Anxiety scores were slightly higher among IVF compared to non-IVF pregnant women. Thirty-one participants provided narrative data about their pregnancy-specific anxiety. Themes emerged from qualitative analysis related to anxiety about the health of their babies, perception of maternal health and safety, and perception of their abilities to fulfill the role of mother. Because of their relationship with patients during pregnancy, nurses and perinatal educators play a critical role in identification of women with pregnancy-specific anxieties and providing relevant care to address these anxieties.

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