What's New in the Journal of Perinatal Education - January 2019

JPE Jan 2019 hero.pngOne of the valuable benefits for Lamaze International members is a subscription to Lamaze International's official journal - The Journal of Perinatal Education (JPE).  The mission of the JPE 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 healthcare professionals can use to enhance the quality and effectiveness of their care or teaching to prepare expectant parents for birth.

Through these 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 healthcare professionals on research that will improve their practice and their efforts to support natural, safe, and healthy birth.

The journal's content focuses on pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period, breast/chestfeeding, neonatal care, early parenting, and young family development. In addition to childbirth educators, the JPE's readers regularly include nurses, midwives, physicians, and other professionals involved with perinatal education and maternal-child health care.  Which highlighted below articles are the ones that you want to explore?

Consider joining Lamaze International to receive this member benefit along with other perks.  There are value and benefit to all birth professionals in joining Lamaze and helping families have safe and healthy births.

With some downtime over the holiday period that just finished, I was able to catch up on my JPE reading.  As usual, the most recent quarter's publication is interesting, relevant and thought-provoking. Articles include:

Credible Evidence for Practice

Author: Budin, Wendy C., PhD, RN-BC, FAAN, LCCE, FACCE


In this column, the editor of The Journal of Perinatal Education discusses the importance of relying on sources of strong credible evidence in order to guide our practice and provides information about accessing systematic reviews. The editor also describes the contents of this issue, which offer a broad range of resources, research, and inspiration for childbirth educators in their efforts to promote, support, and protect natural, safe, and healthy birth.

This Birth (Story) Was a Long Time Coming

Author: Lloyd, Marianne E., PhD


The story of Joyce’s birth describes a long, hard labor and the determined commitment and hard work of her mother to have a natural birth. This birth story presents a deeply moving, personal reflection on when cesarean surgery is the right choice even if not the preferred outcome. 

Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth: 2017 Cochrane Review Update Key Takeaways


This contribution reproduces a fact sheet about the current Cochrane systematic review, Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth, summarizing 27 randomized controlled trials of nearly 16,000 women. Having continuous labor support versus none was associated with no harms and impressive benefits, especially when provided by someone in a doula role. Overall, women with continuous support were more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births and shorter labors and less likely to have negative birth experiences, labor pain medication, epidural/spinal analgesia, instrumental vaginal births, cesarean births and low 5-minute Apgar scores. Subgroup analysis found most benefits and greatest effects sizes when continuous support was provided by someone in a doula role versus a member of the hospital staff or the woman’s social network.

Perceived Barriers to Exercise in the First Trimester of Pregnancy

Authors: Sytsma, Terin T., MD, Zimmerman, Kate P., BS, Manning, Jennifer B., MD, Jenkins, Sarah M., MS, Nelson, Nancy C., MD, Cark, Matthew M., PhD, Boldt, Kristi, MD, Borowski, Kristi S., MD 


Regular physical activity has been shown to improve pregnancy outcomes. We sought to identify barriers to exercise during the first trimester of pregnancy. Five hundred forty-nine pregnant women in their first trimester rated barriers to exercise on a scale of 1 (not a barrier) to 5 (a huge barrier) and recorded physical activity (minutes/week). Women were placed into one of three classifications, nonexercisers (zero exercise), infrequent exercisers (<150 minutes/week), or exercisers (≥150 minutes/week). The greatest barriers (mean) were nausea/fatigue (3.0) and lack of time (2.6). Exercisers reported significantly lower barrier levels. Nausea/fatigue was a greater barrier for nonexercisers compared to exercisers (3.6 vs 2.8, p < .001). Focusing education and interventions on these barriers may help pregnant women achieve healthy exercise levels.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Barriers to Supporting Breastfeeding by Mothers and Infants

Authors: Brzezinski, Lisa, DNP, APN, Momm, Nancy, DNP, MSN, APHN-BC, Porter, Sallie, DNP, PhD, APN.


Infant health and development outcomes are positively affected by breastfeeding. Despite the multitude of breastfeeding benefits to mothers and infants along with strong recommendations for exclusive breastfeeding from government agencies and professional associations, the rate of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life remains low. Strongly positive attitudes make pediatric nurse practitioners, especially those in primary care settings, ideally positioned to encourage, support, and provide breastfeeding management to mothers and infants. However, pediatric nurse practitioners may report breastfeeding education and breastfeeding skills deficits along with other barriers to optimal breastfeeding care.

Evaluation of a Storybook Resource for Parents in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Authors: Lasiuk, Gerri C, BA, MN, PhD, RPN, Rn, CPMHN©, Penner, Julie, SScN(Hon.), RN, Benzies, Karen, PhD, RN, Jubinville, Jodi, MN, RN/NNP-BC, Hegadoren, Kathy, PhD, RN, van Manen, Michael, PhD, MD.


This project evaluates the acceptability and utility of a storybook, entitled Unexpected: Parents’ Experience of Preterm Birth, as an educational resource for parents in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Forty-nine parents were recruited from Level II and Level III NICUs and completed several questionnaires; a subset of 11 parents also participated in focused qualitative interviews. Almost all parents experienced the characters as believable and agreed/strongly agreed that the stories accurately portray what it is like to be a parent in the NICU. The multiple narrators offer different perspectives of the NICU experience, which helped to normalize their experience and reminded them that they were not alone. Participants reported learning something new from the storybook and would recommend it to others. 

Social Support in the “Fourth Trimester”: A Qualitative Analysis of Women at 1 Month and 3 Months Postpartum

 Authors: Lubker Cornish, Disa, PhD and Roberts Dobie, Susan, PhD


Social support is essential in the postpartum period when support is positively associated with infant care and maternal adaptation and its absence is associated with postpartum depression. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore how postpartum women experience social support and variations in the type and quantity received. Researchers conducted two semistructured interviews with a convenience sample of 22 participants at approximately one month and three months postpartum. Social support varied in quality and quantity. Respondents indicated that the presence of support made the postpartum period easier, less stressful, and more enjoyable. Efforts to help women plan for postpartum social support during pregnancy should focus on relationships and social networks as well as individual behaviors and community services.

Chinese News Media Discourse of Doulas and Doula Care 

Author: Dai Zehui, PhD


This article highlights the relationships among Chinese society, the discourse about doulas and doula care in childbirth, and Chinese women. The author used a critical feminist lens to analyze the discourse about doulas, doula care in childbirth, and women in Chinese mainstream news media. This analysis showed that the Chinese news media and government encouraged and promoted becoming a doula as a profession and doula care in labor in terms of cultural, social, and political factors. An argument was presented that these discourses obscure a nuanced understanding of Chinese women’s maternal health in general. 

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