Author Archive | Jade

The Lancet Global Health Series on Midwifery Goes Live

June 23, 2014 – The Lancet has published a series comprised of four international studies on midwifery. Developed by a multidisciplinary group of academics, researchers, women and child health advocates, clinicians and policy-makers, the collaborative approach to this series has resulted in the creation of a framework for quality maternal and newborn care.

With women and infants at the center of this framework and midwifery as a key component to its success, the findings of this series support a shift to a whole-system approach that provides quality care for all. In addition to presenting health practitioners and decision-makers with realistic, achievable, sustainable, and evidence-based strategies, the papers address current key issues and challenges affecting the provision of such care.

With the overall goal of positively impacting mothers and babies, it is hoped that the recommendations from this series will be tailored to meet the unique needs of individual communities and countries.

We are thrilled to see that three Home Birth Summit delegates, including Eugene Declercq, Holly Kennedy and Jane Sandall, are key contributors to this important series.

The executive summary can be viewed by clicking here.

Launch of the 2014 State of the World’s Midwifery Report

UNFPA State of the World's Midwifery ReportJune 3, 2014 – The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners have released the 2014 edition of State of the World’s Midwifery: A Universal Pathway – A Woman’s Right to Health. The report presents findings on midwifery from 73 low and middle income countries and a summary of the progress made since the inaugural report in 2011.

Despite the fact that 96 per cent of worldwide maternal mortality, 91 per cent of stillbirths and 93 per cent of infant mortality lies within these 73 countries, they still only have 42 per cent of the world’s physicians, midwives and nurses. According to the report, midwives could reduce maternal and newborn deaths by two thirds and investments in midwifery training at an international level could result in a 1,600 per cent return on investment.

Since the first edition of the report in 2011, 23 of the countries have executed strategies to improve workforce retention in rural and remote areas, and 20 countries have increased enrollment and placement of midwives in underserved regions.

Ensuring that pregnant women have access to at least four antenatal visits and improving access to emergency services when needed have been identified as key areas of focus in the fight to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes in the targeted countries.

The report can be viewed by clicking here.

US MERA 2nd Annual Face-to-Face Workgroup Meeting – Summary Released

ghApril 2014 – The US Midwifery Education, Regulation, and Association (US MERA) Workgroup met on April 10-13, 2014 to continue discussions on how to expand access to high quality midwifery care and physiologic birth for women in all birth settings in the US. The Workgroup includes representatives from AMCB, ACME, ACNM, MANA, MEAC, NACPM and NARM.

During this meeting, US MERA reached an important milestone – agreeing to work together to achieve several important action steps critical to the future of midwifery in the US. In addition, the following key topics were at the center of discussion: barriers to CPM licensing and practice; accreditation of midwifery education processes and programs; and innovative midwifery education models that prepare midwives for entry-level practice while incorporating cost containment.

Click here to read “2014 US MERA Meeting: A Summary Report”

A New Guideline Aimed at Preventing Primary Cesareans

dfMarch 2014 – The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) have released the first guideline, Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery, in a new Obstetric Care Consensus series.

The new recommendation was developed with the overall goal of reducing the US national cesarean rate by safely preventing women from having unnecessary cesarean deliveries with their first birth. Some of the key recommendations include:

  • Allowing women with low-risk pregnancies to have a longer first stage of labor.
  • Considering a new definition for the start of the active phase of labor: 6cm cervical dilation, instead of 4cm.
  • Increasing the length of the second stage of labor to two hours for multiparas, three hours for nulliparas and even longer in certain cases, such as the use of an epidural.
  • Avoidance of excessive weight gain in pregnancy.
  • Utilizing tools to assist with vaginal delivery, such as forceps and vacuum.

ACOG and SMFM are encouraging individuals, organizations and governing bodies to conduct research aimed at developing a stronger knowledge base to direct decisions regarding cesarean delivery and to facilitate policy changes that safely lower the rate of primary cesarean births in the US.

The guideline can be viewed on the ACOG website.

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