Monday, January 07, 2013

2012 ~ a Year in Review & What Will Be the Hot Topics in Birth in 2013?

Birth research bombards us nearly daily with new research, new studies and new opinions. Yet one thing is clear, at the end of the year, it is interesting and important to reflect back and look at the evolution of hot topics for that year.  Let’s look at 2012.

You can search this blog for the “hot topics” of 2012 and also Google them.  In chronological order, they are waterbirths, Beyonce, Gisele Bundchens Birth Around the World, woman centered cesareans, homebirth vs midwifery care, Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach, Mayim Bialik’s Beyond the Sling, evidence based practice, World Breastfeeding Week, mindfulness guided childbirth, Call the Midwife, Bottled Up ~ The Film, Jennie Joseph and No Woman, No Cry, Kate Middleton,  and the call for holiday elective inductions/cesareans.  This looks like a small, short list but it represents nearly 100 blog entries just on this blog alone, not to mention other blogs, websites, Facebook messages and Tweets! The media follows these hot topics for a while, giving them some good exposure but like a puppy who sees a squirrel, the media quickly changes when a star becomes pregnant (ie Beyonce or currently one of the Kardashians) or medical associations leak questionable statements about midwifery care, homebirth or waterbirth. Yes, questionable statements in plain view of substantiated research to the contrary.

The birth community, as I define it as all childbirth educators, doulas, midwives, lactation consultants, physicians and nurses who truly practice evidence based medicine, is poorly versed on the arts of marketing and immediate “fire” extinguishing (the "fire" being instances such as  the aforementioned leak of questionable statements to distract from a concrete discussion). To effectively combat the anti-evidence based practices and statements, the birth community must first come together in an effective and continuously productive way. Yes, this entails swallowing egos and pride and releasing territorialism for the sake of mothers and babies. 

After all, isn't it for mothers and babies we are in this profession in the first place?  Right?

My hope for 2013 is that more media time will be given to evidence-based practice and the pressure to actually use what is evident in the literature will become more commonplace.  I pray that breastfeeding will no longer be looked at as an option and that women will no longer have to be so militant in order to feed their children properly in public.  I want the atmosphere to be changed from “Please get to at least 39 weeks of pregnancy” to “why would you want to induce or have a cesarean and risk your baby’s health?”.  I would like nurses/hospitals and doulas to reach common ground.  And because I believe that education…childbirth education…is the turning point for both expectant parents as well as professionals – I wish that childbirth education would become commonplace and every educator’s class was full to overflowing!

You know, we can make it all happen.  

We really can. 

Are you willing to take that step with me in 2013?

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