Washington, D.C.—Eleven years ago, the national Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) released a list of 10 steps to improve care for new mothers during pregnancy and childbirth.
New research by a faculty member at the School of Nursing & Health Studies at Georgetown University Medical Center indicates that those 10 steps—described by CIMS in the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative—do work.
Mayri Sagady Leslie, MSN, a certified nurse midwife in the school’s Department of Nursing, is among a team of national experts and CIMS members who has published its findings in the winter 2007 supplement to The Journal of Perinatal Education, a peer-reviewed publication of Lamaze International.
The group of researchers systematically reviewed 15 years of scientific studies that applied to each of the 10 CIMS steps. Sagady Leslie, along with several colleagues, specifically reviewed published literature that involved steps one, six, and seven. The summary of work as published is called, “The Evidence Basis for the Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care.”
Those steps say that mother-friendly care: (1) offers all birthing mothers unrestricted access to birth companions, labor support, and professional midwifery care, (6) does not routinely employ practices, procedures unsupported by scientific evidence, and (7) educates staff in non-drug methods of pain relief and does not promote use of analgesic or anesthetic drugs not specifically required to correct a complication. In addition, Sagady Leslie contributed to the appendix, “Birth Can Safely Take Place at Home and in Birthing Centers.”
Sagady Leslie pointed out that in 2005 the national cesarean rate for the United States reached a record high of 30.2 percent, while more than 20 percent of all labors are induced.
“I believe one reason for the increase in the use of technology for birth is that mothers are not getting the whole story,” she said. “Our publication will give mothers and their care providers new and important information they can use in making choices for their birth.”
CIMS is a collaborative effort of numerous individuals and more than 100 organizations representing over 100,000 members. The organization’s mission is to promote a wellness model of maternity care that will improve birth outcomes and substantially reduce costs.
The release of the series of articles coincides with the 2007 CIMS Mother-Friendly Childbirth Forum and Annual Meeting, which is taking place from March 7-11, in Atlanta. Sagady Leslie will present at the five-day conference, which is titled, “Turning the Tide: Making Mother-Friendly Childbirth a Reality.”
About the School of Nursing & Health Studies
The School of Nursing & Health Studies lives its mission “to improve the health and well being of all people” through innovative educational and research programs. NHS houses a multimillion-dollar research portfolio on topics of science and public health. The school includes the Departments of Health Systems Administration, Human Science, International Health, and Nursing, as well as the Center on Health and Education and—in partnership with Georgetown University Law Center—the Linda and Timothy O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.
About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through our partnership with MedStar Health). Our mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO).