Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities: A Guide to the Medical Literature

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995 - Health & Fitness - 385 pages
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Anyone working to improve the childbearing experience and help women avoid unnecessary intervention has encountered numerous obstetric myths or old doctors' tales. And while the evidence in the medical literature may be solidly, often unequivocably, against whatever the doctor said, without access to that evidence, the pregnant woman is quite reasonably going to follow her doctor. This book is an attempt to make the medical literature on a variety of key obstetric issues accessible to people who lack the time, expertise, access, or proximity to a medical library to research concerns on their own. This compact, accurate, yet understandable reference is designed for people without medical training and organized for easy access.

After an introductory chapter giving basic information about the different types of medical studies, how to evaluate them, and some basic statistical concepts, Goer provides chapters on cesarean issues, pregnancy and labor management, and a review of alternative approaches. Each chapter begins with a stated myth, followed by an examination of the reality. Goer then analyzes the mainstream belief, pointing out its fallacies. Then comes a list of significant points gleaned from the studies and keyed to her abstracts. Next is the outline by which the abstracts are grouped. Finally come the numbered abstracts of relevant articles published, in most cases, after 1980. The book concludes with a glossary of medical terms and an index. This compact, accurate, and understandable reference tool is designed for people without medical training as well as care givers.


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The Nature of Evidence How to Read the Medical Literature
The Cesarean Rate
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean
Labor Dystocia Failure to Progress Cephalopelvic Disproportion and Active Management
Breech Presentation
Fetal Distress and Electronic Fetal Monitoring
Gestational Diabetes
Epidural Anesthesia
The Freestanding Birth Center
Home Birth
The Nature of Evidence Reprise Why the Gap Between Belief and Reality?

Postdates Pregnancy Induction Versus Watching and Waiting
Premature Rupture of Membranes at Term
IVs Versus Eating and Drinking in Labor

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Page vi - But myth has its own, furious, inherent reason-to-be because it is tied to desire. Prove it false a hundred times, and it will still endure because it is true as an expression of feeling. We have, for example, recently seen a number of books devoted to disproving the traditional myths about woman's role and place, some of them very effectively. But will they overthrow the myths? Only to the extent that they change the way people feel. It's certainly not impossible to do this, both...

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About the author (1995)

HENCI GOER is an ASPO-certified childbirth educator and doula (professional provider of labor support). A medical writer for the past ten years, she has written numerous pamphlets and magazine articles for her fellow professionals and for expectant couples.

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