A new report by the nonprofit Childbirth Connection published today on ConsumerReports.org says when it's time to bring a new baby into the world, there's a lot to be said for letting nature take the lead.
The Childbirth Connection study analyzed hundreds of the most recent studies and systematic reviews of maternity care. It notes that the current style of maternity care is so procedure-intensive that six of the 15 most common hospital procedures in the entire U.S. are related to childbirth. Although most childbearing women in this country are healthy and at low risk for childbirth complications, national surveys reveal that essentially all women who give birth in U.S. hospitals have high rates of complex interventions, with risks of adverse effects.
You can also take a quiz to test your knowledge about procedures in hospital maternity wards.
It's kind of amazing that a mainstream and respected organization like Consumer Reports has gotten behind natural childbirth. This must signal a shift in our society's ideas.
I think natural childbirth and breastfeeding whenever possible contribute to the development of a strong bond between mother and baby, thereby helping to ensure good development of the baby's own oxytocin response.