Five patient concerns to address in your OBGYN practice
Baby delivery has changed dramatically over the decades.
Whereas it was once common for both mother and baby to die during childbirth, those numbers have improved greatly. Fewer babies die and the death of a mother is so rare that it is almost unknown.
However, other complications do occur during childbirth and hospitals are continuing to work on these problems.
Many hospitals are working to make baby deliveries safer for both child and mother.
One way they are doing this is by eliminating unnecessary or elective induction. While this procedure has become the trend for some doctors and hospitals, others are working to use natural delivery. This results in fewer injuries or traumas during the birthing process.
Childbirth once consisted of numerous drugs and a rigid system that was more about convenience for the doctor rather than the comfort of the mother or safety of the baby.
Today, hospitals have updated their practices to ensure that drugs are only given as necessary and that the ideal positioning for delivery is used for the mother and to protect the baby.
More hospitals allow the baby to stay in the mother's room and begin breastfeeding whereas in the previous century they were whisked away immediately after birth and kept separated from the mother for long periods of time. The medical staff today in many hospitals recognizes the importance of early bonding and how breastfeeding can give babies a better start in life.
Even more drastic improvements have been made for premature babies.
Not only are more of them surviving, but side effects are become fewer and less damaging for those born early. Asphyxia is one major problem of premature babies whose lungs have not fully developed.
Hospitals are now watching more closely for problems immediately after birth and treating the infant sooner to lessen long-term effects of being without oxygen.
Concerns for Today
1. When to clamp the cord
2. Whether to wash and measure the baby or allow skin-to-skin contact with the mother immediately following birth
3. Whether eye ointment is needed to protect baby's vision
4. Whether a Hepatitis B shot is needed
5. Whether a hearing test should be conducted during the initial hospital stay
While hospitals can be proud to say they have made great strides in the area of obstetrics, there are still some areas that need improvement.
For instance, the rate of Cesarean sections is still rather high at approximately one-third of births in the U.S. The results of a C-section are longer hospitalizations and other complications. It also increases the cost of care. Women who deliver by C-section are likely to have future babies by the same method.
Data on how many procedures a hospital performs as part of delivery is attainable and yet it is not widely known.
Having such information available would allow expectant mothers to make the best choice on where they want to delivery their baby for the optimal care and fewer unnecessary procedures.
About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including parenting and healthcare.