Last weekend, a friend at a local hospital asked me about resources regarding labor induction. The hospital where she teaches is aware of the new Joint Commission perinatal quality measures, including the measure on reducing elective births before 39 weeks. She said that the hospital is concerned about balancing pressure from patients (especially) and from physicians to provide elective inductions and the new Joint Commission perinatal quality measure on induction. She asked me about research and resources for women on labor induction.
I just happened to have written the Healthy Birth Practice Paper #1 – Let Labor Begin on Its Own for Lamaze International. A PDF format of the paper is available on the Lamaze website so that the paper can be easily printed for distribution to colleagues at your hospital and/or for your childbirth education students. Even if you are not a member of Lamaze International, you are encouraged to distribute the paper. Because I wrote the paper (and updated it several times), I assume that “everyone” knows about it. I was surprised to learn that my friend from the local hospital did not. In addition to papers and one page summaries of each of the healthy birth practices on the Lamaze website, there are also very short video clips for each of the six healthy birth practices. You can also download these clips to your laptop to show in your childbirth class. Or you can order a DVD with all the video clips on it from InJoy Videos for only $12.95.
I have blogged in the past about the research study done at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis on labor induction. Childbirth educators added a detailed module on the risks of elective induction to their childbirth education curriculum. It made a difference – students who attended childbirth education classes had fewer inductions as compared to a control group during the same time period who did not attend classes. I am happy to report that this important study will be published in the next (fall) edition of The Journal of Perinatal Education.
Childbirth educators need to know that they CAN make an important contribution to their hospitals’ efforts to improve performance on the Joint Commission perinatal quality measures. I encourage childbirth educators to take advantage of the free resources provided by Lamaze International on the benefits of letting labor begin on its own and the other healthy birth practices.
PS: If you are a Lamaze member, there is an updated version of the one-page handout, Tips for Avoiding Labor Induction, available on the Lamaze website. From the home page, select the pull-down menu, “Member Center.” Under “Member Center,” select “Handouts and Classroom Tools. Tips for Avoiding Labor Induction 2010 is the handout second from the bottom.