Old Wives Vs. Science
Find out how much of the pregnancy advice you receive is backed by research, and how much is mere folk wisdom.
Folk Wisdom Or Science? Forgoing an epidural boosts your odds for breastfeeding success.
Answer: Folk wisdom Many pregnant women are told that getting an epidural will lead to having a sluggish newborn who has difficulty breastfeeding. a British study published in a 2010 issue of Anaesthesia debunks this myth. scientists compared the breastfeeding success rates of 1,054 women, 351 of whom delivered without an epidural. The results? No significant difference in breastfeeding success. “epidurals are very safe and can turn a difficult labor experience into a very rewarding one,” says study co-author andrew shennan, M.d., professor of obstetrics at King’s College London. “Under these circumstances, establishment of breastfeeding could be much easier after an epidural.”
Folk Wisdom Or Science? if you’ve had one or more previous Cesarean sections, trying for a vaginal delivery next time is risky to you and the baby.
Answer: Folk wisdom Even if you’ve had two previous C-sections, you can go ahead and try to deliver the old-fashioned way. in 2010, the american College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists revised its guidelines on vaginal birth after Cesarean (VBAC), determining that VBACs are a safe and appropriate option for most women. in the last few decades, doctors worried that because of their incision scar, women with previous C-sections were at a higher risk for uterine rupture, which is dangerous for both mother and baby. Consequently, some hospitals and insurers restricted VBACs, and in 2006 to 2007 the VBAC rate fell to 8.5 percent while the C-section rate rose to 31 percent. Then in 2010, the National institutes of Health compiled a state-of-the-science report based on major VBAC studies of more than 20,000 women. The consensus: The risk of uterine rupture during a “trial of labor after Cesarean” is very low—between 0.5 percent and 0.9 percent.
Fourth time could be the charm
Conventional wisdom holds that if a woman has had three or more consecutive miscarriages, her odds for getting and staying pregnant in the next few years are low. But given the right help, her chances could be considerably better: In a study of 987 such European women ages 20 to 46 years, 68 percent had a live birth within five years of their first visit to a recurrent-miscarriage clinic. Within 15 years, 71 percent of them had a live birth.