Monday, October 26, 2009

How (NOT) to Birth

Nurses at the Manitoba School of Nursing use a birth manikin simulator to learn how (NOT) to help a woman have a healthy safe birth. CRINGE.

Several things stand out to me as I watch this. First of all, research shows that it is safer and healthier to give birth in an upright or gravity enhancing position. Not only is it easier to push the baby "down" instead of "out" but lying on your back compresses blood vessels that carry oxygen rich blood to the baby. In addition, lying on your back increases the risk that you might have a vaginal or perineal tear or need a vacuum or forceps assisted delivery. Or maybe even a cesarean.

Secondly, we see better outcomes and less incidences of fetal distress when Mom is allowed to push spontaneously, as her body directs her, and it is never advised to hold your breath when pushing. This also deprives the baby of oxygen and makes the mother very tired. In the profession, we call it "purple pushing".
It can also increase the incidence of perineal lacerations.

Thirdly, while I was happy to see that they didn't whisk the baby off to a warming table, the baby should have been placed skin to skin on the mother's abdomen or breasts. This helps to colonize the baby with the mother's bacteria and facilitates bonding by increasing oxytocin levels, breastfeeding and a safe delivery of the placenta.

When will we ever learn ?

No comments:

Post a Comment