Reinscribing the birthing body: homebirth as ritual performance.
Med Anthropol Q. 2011 Dec ;25(4):519-42. PMID: 22338293
Department of Anthropology, Oregon State University, USA.
In this article, I examine the clinical practices engaged in by U.S. homebirth midwives and their clients from the beginning of pregnancy through to the immediate postpartum period, deconstructing them for their symbolic and ritual content. Using data collected from open-ended, semistructured interviews and intensive participant-observation, I describe the roles ritual plays in the construction, performance, and maintenance of birth at home as a transgressive rite of passage. As midwives ritually elaborate approaches to care to capitalize on their semiotic power to transmit a set of counterhegemonic values to participants, they are attempting, quite self-consciously, to peel away the fictions of medicalized birthing care. Their goal: to expose strong and capable women who"grow"and birth babies outside the regulatory and self-regulatory processes naturalized by modern, technocratic obstetrics. Homebirth practices are, thus, not simply evidence-based care strategies. They are intentionally manipulated rituals of technocratic subversion designed to reinscribe pregnant bodies and to reterritorialize childbirth spaces (home) and authorities (midwives and mothers).
Article Published Date : Dec 01, 2011
Clinical outcomes of the first midwife-led normal birth unit in China: a retrospective cohort study.
Midwifery. 2011 Jan 12. Epub 2011 Jan 12. PMID: 21236528
Ngai Fen Cheung, Rosemary Mander, Xiaoli Wang, Wei Fu, Hong Zhou, Liping Zhang
Nursing College, Hangzhou Normal University, 16 Xuelin Road, Xiasha, Hangzhou 310036, China.
AIMS: to report the clinical outcomes of the first six months of operation of an innovative midwife-led normal birth unit (MNBU) in China in 2008, aiming to facilitate normal birth and enhance midwifery practice. SETTING: an urban hospital with 2000-3000 deliveries per year. METHOD: this study was part of a major action research project that led to implementation of the MNBU. A retrospective cohort and a questionnaire survey were used. The data were analysed thematically. PARTICIPANTS: the outcomes of the first 226 women accessing the MNBU were compared with a matched retrospective cohort of 226 women accessing standard care. In total, 128 participants completed a satisfaction questionnaire before discharge. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: mode of birth and model of care. FINDINGS: the vaginal birth rate was 87.6% in the MNBU compared with 58.8% in the standard care unit. All women who accessed the MNBU were supported by both a midwife and a birth companion, referred to as 'two-to-one' care. None of the women labouring in the standard care unit were identified as having a birth companion. DISCUSSION: the concept of 'two-to-one' care emerged as fundamental to women's experiences and utilisation of midwives' skills to promote normal birth and decrease the likelihood of a caesarean section. CONCLUSION: the MNBU provides an environment where midwives can practice to the full extent of their role. The high vaginal birth rate in the MNBU indicates the potential of this model of care to reduce obstetric intervention and increase women's satisfaction with care within a context of extraordinary high caesarean section rates. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: midwife-led care implies a separation of obstetric care from maternity care, which has been advocated in many European countries.
Article Published Date : Jan 12, 2011
Perinatal and maternal outcomes by planned place of birth for healthy women with low risk pregnancies: the Birthplace in England national prospective cohort study.
BMJ. 2011 ;343:d7400. Epub 2011 Nov 23. PMID: 22117057
OBJECTIVE: To compare perinatal outcomes, maternal outcomes, and interventions in labour by planned place of birth at the start of care in labour for women with low risk pregnancies.
DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.
SETTING: England: all NHS trusts providing intrapartum care at home, all freestanding midwifery units, all alongside midwifery units (midwife led units on a hospital site with an obstetric unit), and a stratified random sample of obstetric units.
PARTICIPANTS: 64,538 eligible women with a singleton, term (≥37 weeks gestation), and"booked"pregnancy who gave birth between April 2008 and April 2010. Planned caesarean sections and caesarean sections before the onset of labour and unplanned home births were excluded.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: A composite primary outcome of perinatal mortality and intrapartum related neonatal morbidities (stillbirth after start of care in labour, early neonatal death, neonatal encephalopathy, meconium aspiration syndrome, brachial plexus injury, fractured humerus, or fractured clavicle) was used to compare outcomes by planned place of birth at the start of care in labour (at home, freestanding midwifery units, alongside midwifery units, and obstetric units).
RESULTS: There were 250 primary outcome events and an overall weighted incidence of 4.3 per 1000 births (95% CI 3.3 to 5.5). Overall, there were no significant differences in the adjusted odds of the primary outcome for any of the non-obstetric unit settings compared with obstetric units. For nulliparous women, the odds of the primary outcome were higher for planned home births (adjusted odds ratio 1.75, 95% CI 1.07 to 2.86) but not for either midwifery unit setting. For multiparous women, there were no significant differences in the incidence of the primary outcome by planned place of birth. Interventions during labour were substantially lower in all non-obstetric unit settings. Transfers from non-obstetric unit settings were more frequent for nulliparous women (36% to 45%) than for multiparous women (9% to 13%).
CONCLUSIONS: The results support a policy of offering healthy women with low risk pregnancies a choice of birth setting. Women planning birth in a midwifery unit and multiparous women planning birth at home experience fewer interventions than those planning birth in an obstetric unit with no impact on perinatal outcomes. For nulliparous women, planned home births also have fewer interventions but have poorer perinatal outcomes.
Article Published Date : Dec 31, 2010
Outcomes of planned home birth with registered midwife versus planned hospital birth with midwife or physician.
CMAJ. 2009 Sep 15;181(6-7):377-83. Epub 2009 Aug 31. PMID: 19720688
Patricia A Janssen, Lee Saxell, Lesley A Page, Michael C Klein, Robert M Liston, Shoo K Lee
BACKGROUND: Studies of planned home births attended by registered midwives have been limited by incomplete data, nonrepresentative sampling, inadequate statistical power and the inability to exclude unplanned home births. We compared the outcomes of planned home births attended by midwives with those of planned hospital births attended by midwives or physicians.
METHODS: We included all planned home births attended by registered midwives from Jan. 1, 2000, to Dec. 31, 2004, in British Columbia, Canada (n = 2889), and all planned hospital births meeting the eligibility requirements for home birth that were attended by the same cohort of midwives (n = 4752). We also included a matched sample of physician-attended planned hospital births (n = 5331). The primary outcome measure was perinatal mortality; secondary outcomes were obstetric interventions and adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes.
RESULTS: The rate of perinatal death per 1000 births was 0.35 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.00-1.03) in the group of planned home births; the rate in the group of planned hospital births was 0.57 (95% CI 0.00-1.43) among women attended by a midwife and 0.64 (95% CI 0.00-1.56) among those attended by a physician. Women in the planned home-birth group were significantly less likely than those who planned a midwife-attended hospital birth to have obstetric interventions (e.g., electronic fetal monitoring, relative risk [RR] 0.32, 95% CI 0.29-0.36; assisted vaginal delivery, RR 0.41, 95% 0.33-0.52) or adverse maternal outcomes (e.g., third- or fourth-degree perineal tear, RR 0.41, 95% CI 0.28-0.59; postpartum hemorrhage, RR 0.62, 95% CI 0.49-0.77). The findings were similar in the comparison with physician-assisted hospital births. Newborns in the home-birth group were less likely than those in the midwife-attended hospital-birth group to require resuscitation at birth (RR 0.23, 95% CI 0.14-0.37) or oxygen therapy beyond 24 hours (RR 0.37, 95% CI 0.24-0.59). The findings were similar in the comparison with newborns in the physician-assisted hospital births; in addition, newborns in the home-birth group were less likely to have meconium aspiration (RR 0.45, 95% CI 0.21-0.93) and more likely to be admitted to hospital or readmitted if born in hospital (RR 1.39, 95% CI 1.09-1.85).
INTERPRETATION: Planned home birth attended by a registered midwife was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death and reduced rates of obstetric interventions and other adverse perinatal outcomes compared with planned hospital birth attended by a midwife or physician.
Article Published Date : Sep 15, 2009
Homebirth as systems-challenging praxis: knowledge, power, and intimacy in the birthplace.
Qual Health Res. 2008 Feb ;18(2):254-67. PMID: 18216344
Melissa J Cheyney
In this article, I examine the processes and motivations involved when women in the United States choose to circumvent the dominant obstetric care paradigm by delivering at home with a group of care providers called direct-entry midwives. Using grounded theory, participant observation, and open-ended, semistructured interviewing, I collected and analyzed homebirth narratives from a theoretical sample of women (n = 50) in two research locales. Findings interpreted from the perspective of critical medical anthropology suggest that women who choose to birth at home negotiate fears associated with the"just in case something bad happens"argument that forms the foundation for hospital birth rationales through complex individual and social processes. These involve challenging established forms of authoritative knowledge, valuing alternative and more embodied or intuitive ways of knowing, and knowledge sharing through the informed consent process. Adherence to subjugated discourses combined with lived experiences of personal power and the cultivation of intimacy in the birthplace fuel homebirth not only as a minority social movement, but also as a form of systems-challenging praxis.
Article Published Date : Feb 01, 2008
Midwife-led versus other models of care for childbearing women.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008(4):CD004667. Epub 2008 Oct 8. PMID: 18843666
Marie Hatem, Jane Sandall, Declan Devane, Hora Soltani, Simon Gates
Département de médecine sociale et préventive, Université de Montréal, Faculté de médecine, C.P 6128, succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3C 3J7.
BACKGROUND: Midwives are primary providers of care for childbearing women around the world. However, there is a lack of synthesised information to establish whether there are differences in morbidity and mortality, effectiveness and psychosocial outcomes between midwife-led and other models of care.
OBJECTIVES: To compare midwife-led models of care with other models of care for childbearing women and their infants.
SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (January 2008), Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group's Trials Register (January 2008), Current Contents (1994 to January 2008), CINAHL (1982 to August 2006), Web of Science, BIOSIS Previews, ISI Proceedings, (1990 to 2008), and the WHO Reproductive Health Library, No. 9.
SELECTION CRITERIA: All published and unpublished trials in which pregnant women are randomly allocated to midwife-led or other models of care during pregnancy, and where care is provided during the ante- and intrapartum period in the midwife-led model.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: All authors evaluated methodological quality. Two authors independently checked the data extraction.
MAIN RESULTS: We included 11 trials (12,276 women). Women who had midwife-led models of care were less likely to experience antenatal hospitalisation, risk ratio (RR) 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.81 to 0.99), the use of regional analgesia (RR 0.81, 95% CI 0.73 to 0.91), episiotomy (RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.77 to 0.88), and instrumental delivery (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.78 to 0.96) and were more likely to experience no intrapartum analgesia/anaesthesia (RR 1.16, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.29), spontaneous vaginal birth (RR 1.04, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.06), to feel in control during labour and childbirth (RR 1.74, 95% CI 1.32 to 2.30), attendance at birth by a known midwife (RR 7.84, 95% CI 4.15 to 14.81) and initiate breastfeeding (RR 1.35, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.76). In addition, women who were randomised to receive midwife-led care were less likely to experience fetal loss before 24 weeks' gestation (RR 0.79, 95% CI 0.65 to 0.97), and their babies were more likely to have a shorter length of hospital stay (mean difference -2.00, 95% CI -2.15 to -1.85). There were no statistically significant differences between groups for overall fetal loss/neonatal death (RR 0.83, 95% CI 0.70 to 1.00), or fetal loss/neonatal death of at least 24 weeks (RR 1.01, 95% CI 0.67 to 1.53).
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: All women should be offered midwife-led models of care and women should be encouraged to ask for this option.
Article Published Date : Jan 01, 2008
Influence of the birth attendant on maternal and neonatal outcomes during normal vaginal delivery: a comparison between midwife and physician management.
Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2004 Jun 30;116(11-12):379-84. PMID: 15291290
Barbara Bodner-Adler, Klaus Bodner, Oliver Kimberger, Plamen Lozanov, Peter Husslein, Klaus Mayerhofer
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to compare the obstetric outcome of low-risk maternity patients attended by certified midwives with that of low-risk maternity patients attended by obstetricians.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Obstetric outcome of 1352 midwife patients was compared with that of 1352 age- and parity-matched physician patients with normal spontaneous vaginal delivery at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the University Hospital Vienna during the period from January 1997 to July 2002. Our analysis was restricted to a sample of low-risk pregnant women. Women with medical or obstetric risk factors were excluded.
RESULTS: A significant decrease in the use of oxytocin (p=0.0001) was observed in women who selected a midwife as their primary birth attendant compared with women in the physician group. In both groups most women gave birth in a supine position; however, significantly more alternative birth positions were used by midwife patients (p = 0.0001). Concerning perineal trauma, a significantly lower rate of episiotomies (p = 0.0001) and perineal tears of all degrees (p=0.006) were found in midwife patients. When analyzing severe postpartum hemorrhage and postpartum infections, there were no significant differences between the two groups (p>0.05). Concerning neonatal outcome, there were no significant differences in APGAR score<7 at 5 minutes (p>0.05). Our data clearly show the ability of certified midwives to successfully provide prenatal care and delivery to low-risk maternity patients, with neonatal outcomes comparable to those of physician patients. The use of certified midwives supervised by obstetricians may provide the optimum model for perinatal care, particularly for those women who are low-risk maternity patients, leaving physicians free to attend to the high-risk elements of care.
Article Published Date : Jun 30, 2004
Outcomes of planned home births versus planned hospital births after regulation of midwifery in British Columbia.
CMAJ. 2002 Feb 5;166(3):315-23. PMID: 11868639
Patricia A Janssen, Shoo K Lee, Elizabeth M Ryan, Duncan J Etches, Duncan F Farquharson, Donlim Peacock, Michael C Klein
BACKGROUND: The choice to give birth at home with a regulated midwife in attendance became available to expectant women in British Columbia in 1998. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety of home birth by comparing perinatal outcomes for planned home births attended by regulated midwives with those for planned hospital births.
METHODS: We compared the outcomes of 862 planned home births attended by midwives with those of planned hospital births attended by either midwives (n = 571) or physicians (n = 743). Comparison subjects who were similar in their obstetric risk status were selected from hospitals in which the midwives who were conducting the home births had hospital privileges. Our study population included all home births that occurred between Jan. 1, 1998, and Dec. 31, 1999.
RESULTS: Women who gave birth at home attended by a midwife had fewer procedures during labour compared with women who gave birth in hospital attended by a physician. After adjustment for maternal age, lone parent status, income quintile, use of any versus no substances and parity, women in the home birth group were less likely to have epidural analgesia (odds ratio 0.20, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.14-0.27), be induced, have their labours augmented with oxytocin or prostaglandins, or have an episiotomy. Comparison of home births with hospital births attended by a midwife showed very similar and equally significant differences. The adjusted odds ratio for cesarean section in the home birth group compared with physician-attended hospital births was 0.3 (95% CI 0.22-0.43). Rates of perinatal mortality, 5-minute Apgar scores, meconium aspiration syndrome or need for transfer to a different hospital for specialized newborn care were very similar for the home birth group and for births in hospital attended by a physician. The adjusted odds ratio for Apgar scores lower than 7 at 5 minutes in the home birth group compared with physician-attended hospital births was 0.84 (95% CI 0.32-2.19).
INTERPRETATION: There was no increased maternal or neonatal risk associated with planned home birth under the care of a regulated midwife. The rates of some adverse outcomes were too low for us to draw statistical comparisons, and ongoing evaluation of home birth is warranted.
Article Published Date : Feb 05, 2002
Reflecting on practice to theorise empowerment for women: using Foucault's concepts.
Aust J Midwifery. 2002 ;15(1):5-13. PMID: 12017043
The aim of this research is to understand how power operates in the medical encounter with the childbearing woman and to theorize ways in which midwives can empower women to experience control over what happens to them. Thirty-three Australian pregnant young women and the researcher participated in this study. A post-modern, feminist praxis approach was the research method used. Data was collected using participant observation, in-depth interviewing and reflective journaling. Data was analysed using Michel Foucault's theoretical concepts concerning disciplinary power/knowledge. Key theoretical findings are: knowing how power operates allows midwives to predict what will happen if the woman is intending to resist standardised medical birthing practices. When disciplinary medical power is used the purpose is to coerce patients to do what the doctor wants. Power and knowledge are inseparable, as each strengthens the other, thus Foucault writes of a single concept--Power/Knowledge. Medical power operates most effectively with the co-operation of the midwife and the submission of the childbearing woman. Medical power is normally invisible; it only becomes visible when resistance is encountered, whereupon rewards, threats and punishments are used in an attempt to gain submission. Women can be more empowered if the midwife shares knowledge, not just about pregnancy, labour and birth, but also about the woman's legal rights and what might happen if she decides to refuse standardised medical care. In this way women's empowerment can be facilitated so that they are more likely to experience the type of childbirth they desire.
Article Published Date : Jan 01, 2002
Multicenter study on midwifery students' attitudes towards abortion and it's place in their future practice - Comparison of respondents at early and late stages of the university education.
Nurse Educ Pract. 2019 Jan 11;35:42-47
Authors: Michalik A, Zdun-Ryżewska A, Pięta B, Basiński K, Kiełbasińska J, Mazurkiewicz B, Olszewska J, Łukaszuk K
Evidence based midwifery education and practice are fundamental to assure high quality care of childbearing women, also with complications. In Poland, midwifery education includes aspects of participation in the abortion. A cross-sectional study was designed to describe the attitudes towards abortion at the beginning and at the end of students' university education. The study was aimed to verify change of attitudes throughout the course of the university education. Most of the students approved abortion if the pregnancy constitutes a threat to woman's health or life, results from a rape, or whenever the fetus presents with a lethal defect. More than a half did not approve participation in the abortion if the fetus presents with a non-lethal defect. Generally, the acceptance rates were significantly higher among the final year students, but more than a half of them stated, that the abortion-related topics were inadequately addressed in their study curriculum. That bring to the conclusion that higher rates of abortion acceptance among the final year students, were not necessarily a manifestation of informed approval for this procedure, but rather a form of a "systemic" adjustment. Midwifery program need to be revised to support students in developing informed and evidence-based attitudes toward abortion.
PMID: 30665059 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
A Web-Based Recovery Program (ICUTogether) for Intensive Care Survivors: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial.
JMIR Res Protoc. 2019 Jan 17;8(1):e10935
Authors: Ewens B, Myers H, Whitehead L, Seaman K, Sundin D, Hendricks J
BACKGROUND: Those who experience a critical illness or condition requiring admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) frequently experience physical and psychological complications as a direct result of their critical illness or condition and ICU experience. Complications, if left untreated, can affect the quality of life of survivors and impact health care resources. Explorations of potential interventions to reduce the negative impact of an ICU experience have failed to establish an evidence-based intervention.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of a Web-based intensive care recovery program on the mental well-being of intensive care survivors and to determine if it is a cost-effective approach.
METHODS: In total, 162 patients that survived an ICU experience will be recruited and randomized into 1 of 2 groups. The intervention group will receive access to the Web-based intensive care recovery program, ICUTogether, 2 weeks after discharge (n=81), and the control group will receive usual care (n=81). Mental well-being will be measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, The Impact of Events Scale-Revised and the 5-level 5-dimension EuroQoL at 3 time points (2 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months post discharge). Family support will be measured using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support at 3 time points. Analysis will be conducted on an intention-to-treat basis using regression modeling. Covariates will include baseline outcome measures, study allocation (intervention or control), age, gender, length of ICU stay, APACHE III score, level of family support, and hospital readmissions. Participants' evaluation of the mobile website will be sought at 12 months postdischarge. A cost utility analysis conducted at 12 months from a societal perspective will consider costs incurred by individuals as well as health care providers.
RESULTS: Participant recruitment is currently underway. Recruitment is anticipated to be completed by December 2020.
CONCLUSIONS: This study will evaluate a novel intervention in a group of ICU survivors. The findings from this study will inform a larger study and wider debate about an appropriate intervention in this population.
INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): PRR1-10.2196/10935.
PMID: 30664478 [PubMed]
Knowledge, attitude, and clinical skill of emergency medical technicians from Tehran emergency center in trauma exposure.
Int J Crit Illn Inj Sci. 2018 Oct-Dec;8(4):188-193
Authors: Shakeri K, Fallahi-Khoshknab M, Khankeh H, Hosseini M, Heidari M
Introduction: Prehospital care is the first part of the trauma treatment and care system. Diagnostic and therapeutic measures taken before these patients arrive at the hospital plays significantly reduce mortality and improve their outcomes. Therefore, the present study aimed to determine the knowledge, attitude, and clinical skill of emergency medical technicians in Tehran Emergency Center in trauma exposure.
Methods: In this descriptive study, 213 participants were selected through stratified random sampling. Data were collected using a four-part questionnaire including demographic information, trauma knowledge questionnaire, trauma attitude questionnaire, and a clinical skill checklist. To compare the level of knowledge, attitude, and clinical skills on the one hand and demographic variables, on the other hand, independent samples t-test and one-way ANOVA were utilized. Then, to examine the normality of data distribution, Kolmogorov-Smirnov test with Bonferroni post hoc test was used to compare mean scores on different levels of the variables in questionnaires. Data were analyzed in SPSS/17 using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: Results showed that the majority of participants (81.1%) had an average knowledge of trauma. Examining their attitude regarding trauma revealed that the majority (88.3%) had a positive attitude toward trauma and taking care of trauma patients. Moreover, the skill of 62.4% of technicians regarding trauma was good. Based on Pearson's correlation, significant positive correlations existed between scores of knowledge and scores of attitude (r = 0.186, P < 0.05), scores of knowledge and scores of clinical skill (r = 0.333, P < 0.05), and scores of attitude and scores of clinical skill (r = 0.258, P < 0.05).
Conclusion: According to the results, emergency medical technicians in Tehran had a good level of knowledge, attitude, and clinical skills in trauma exposure. However, to maintain and enhance the level of knowledge and skills, in-service training should be continued more vigorously and periodically evaluated in the clinical practice.
PMID: 30662864 [PubMed]
Comments on preoperative severe hypoalbuminemia is associated with an increased risk of postoperative delirium in elderly patients: Results of a secondary analysis.
J Crit Care. 2018 04;44:469
Authors: Safiri S, Mansourpour H, Ayubi E
PMID: 29254738 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Comments on "Predictive factors for the outcome of high flow nasal cannula therapy in a pediatric intensive care unit: Is the SpO2/FiO2 ratio useful?"
J Crit Care. 2018 04;44:12
Authors: Safiri S, Qorbani M
PMID: 28992588 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]