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“Soon They’ll Be Asking for Informed Consent”

I caught that line from an overheard snippet of House M.D. recently.  Someone told House to get consent before a procedure.  He sarcastically replied something to the effect:  Start getting consent for procedures and soon they’ll be asking for informed consent.

Well there is a new tool in the informed consent workshop.  Released this week, the Milbank Report:  Evidence-Based Maternity Care Report has the US abuzz.  Consumer Reports even released a report on the findings.  One of the quotes I love in the Milbank report’s executive survey is “The many beneficial, underused practices around the time of birth include continuous labor support, numerous measures that increase comfort and facilitate labor progress, nonsupine positions for giving birth, delayed cord clamping, and early mother-baby skin-to-skin contact.”  Humph.  Nonsupine positions, delayed cord clamping, and immediate skin-to-skin are usually the most difficult concessions to get in hospital births I attend.  There is always some reason why it can’t be done. 

The sum-up of the findings seems to be hire a family practice physician or midwife to attend your birth, hire a doula, and know which processes are evidence-based.  Not sure how to discern evidence-based practices?  I usually go first to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.