What's New in the Journal of Perinatal Education – September 2017

JPE.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.  Which articles are the ones that you want to explore?

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:

My Ordinary, Everyday, Boring Birth Story

Author: Kaitlin Solomine


Childbirth is a natural physiological process that when supported by appropriate childbirth professionals, can be an empowering, positive, and healthy experience for both mother and newborn. I wrote this birth story to exemplify what a normal, prepared, supported birth can look like in a country where the vast majority of births involve various medical interventions. Although I do not always explicitly reference these works, my childbirth and mothering journey has been informed by the scholarship of Robbie Davis-Floyd, Sheila Kitzinger, and Ina May Gaskin.

Kangaroo Mother Care: Alleviations in Physiological Problems in Premature Infants

Authors: David J. Mellor and Rebecca J. Bear


Kangaroo mother care (KMC) involves placing the newborn infant into prolonged and continuous skin-to-skin contact with the mother as soon as possible after birth, exclusive breastfeeding, early discharge from the health facility, and supportive follow-up at home. Claimed benefits of KMC as an aid to the clinical mitigation of some detrimental features of prematurity need to be evidence-based. This article, the first of two, provides an overview of the impact of prematurity on those features of neonates to which KMC may be directed. Specifically, the mitigation of some cardiorespiratory, neurophysiological, sensory, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, renal, metabolic, and immunological impacts are outlined. Relevant neurobehavioral, psychosocial, sociocultural, and economic perspectives are briefly reviewed in the companion article. These two articles provide scientific support for a wider upscaling of KMC education and its cautious use in physiologically stable preterm infants.

Invested in Success: A Qualitative Study of the Experience of Centering Pregnancy Group Prenatal Care for Perinatal Educators

Authors: Monica Vekved, Deborah A. McNeil, Deborah Siohban M. Diolan, Jodi E. Siever, Sarah Horn, Suzanne C. Tough


The objective of this study was to understand the central meaning of the experience of providing CenteringPregnancy for perinatal educators who were facilitators for the group sessions. Four perinatal educators participated in one-on-one interviews and/or a validation focus group. Six themes emerged: (a) “stepping back and taking on a different role,” (b) “supporting transformation,” (c) “getting to knowing,” (d) “working together to bridge the gap,” (e) “creating the environment,” and (f) “fostering community.” These themes contributed to the core phenomenon of being “invested in success.” Through bridging gaps and inconsistencies in information received from educators and physicians, this model of CenteringPregnancy provides an opportunity for women to act on relevant information more fully than more traditional didactic approaches to perinatal education.

Participation in a Quality Improvement Collaborative and Change in Maternity Care Practices

Authors: Daurice A. Grossniklaus, Cria G. Perrine, Carol MacGowan, Kelley S. Scanlon, Katherine R. Shealy, Paulette Murphy, Marianne E. McPherson, Charles J. Homer, Laurence M. Grummer-Strawn 


Care immediately following birth affects breastfeeding outcomes. This analysis compared improvement in maternity care practices from 2011 to 2013 among hospitals participating in a quality improvement collaborative, Best Fed Beginnings (BFB), to hospitals that applied but were not selected (non‐Best Fed Beginnings [non-BFB]), and other hospitals, using Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) survey data to calculate total and subscores for 7 care domains. Analysis of covariance compared change in scores from 2011 to 2013 among BFB, non-BFB, and other hospitals. BFB hospitals had twice the increase in mPINC score compared to non-BFB and a 3-fold increase compared to other hospitals. Learning collaborative participation may have accelerated progress in hospitals implementing breastfeeding-supportive maternity care.

Teaching University Students about Evidence-Based Perinatal Care: Effects on Learning and Future Care Preferences

Authors: Elizabeth Soliday, Suzanne R. Smith


U.S. university students hold generally medicalized views on childbirth, which contrast with evidence indicating that low-intervention birth is safest for most. Therefore, intentional efforts are needed to educate childbearing populations on perinatal care evidence. Toward that aim, this study involved teaching university students in an introductory class (N = 50) about evidence-based perinatal care. Students completed a “future birth plan” and an essay on how their learning affected care preferences. Analyses revealed that students selected evidence-based care components up to 100 times more frequently than what the national data indicate they are used. Students based care selections on evidence, costs, and personal views. Their interest in physiologic birth has important implications for advancing education on perinatal care, practice, and policy.

Development of an Interactive Pregnant Adolescent Nutrition Education Workshop

Authors: Nancy J. Wise, Mary Ann Cantrell, Frances Hadley, Kimberly Joyce


The health of pregnant adolescents affects the well-being of future generations. Modifying unhealthy eating patterns among pregnant adolescents is critical because of their association with risk of poor pregnancy and birth outcomes. Therefore, it is important to provide age- and developmentally appropriate nutrition education during this time. To sustain healthy behavior changes, nutrition interventions must be grounded in theory and reflect both motivating factors and barriers to healthy eating. Factors such as taste preferences, personal self-efficacy, developmentally appropriate nutrition education, and hands-on meal preparation have been identified as influences on dietary patterns in this population. The purpose of this article is to describe the development of an evidence-based nutrition education program for pregnant adolescents based on Pender’s health promotion model.


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