There is a lot of research on how doulas improve birth experiences and lower unnecessary intervention and cesarean section rates. But did you know that childbirth education can also do the same?
Women who receive prenatal childbirth education have better birth experiences. Compared to a large national survey of mothers, Lamaze's parent survey found:
- 83% of Lamaze-educated mothers were able to move during labor, compared to 43% of mothers nationally
- 21% were medically induced, compared to 30% nationally
- 42% used pain medication during labor, compared to 83% nationally
- 35% gave birth on their back, compared to 68% nationally
- 20% had a cesarean delivery, compared to 31% nationally
- 34% had professional labor support (doula), compared to 6% nationally
Unnecessary interventions have known risks for both mothers and babies, and evidence-based childbirth education can help families avoid unnecessary interventions. For example, research shows that education offered during childbirth classes regarding elective induction was associated with a decreased rate among first time expectant women who attended the classes compared to those who did not attend. Early elective induction can often lead to a cesarean surgery and/or a baby who is born premature.
Reducing the number of unnecessary medical interventions will lead to higher quality care for mothers and lower maternity care costs for public and private payers. Women who responded to the Lamaze survey reported a cesarean section rate 13% less than the national rate. If a 13% reduction in cesarean could be translated across the U.S., the potential cost savings would be nearly $4.7 billion annually!
Greater utilization of evidence-based childbirth education can have a large impact on improving families' birth experiences and decreasing necessary costs associated with maternity and infant health care.
So, sign up for a childbirth education class today!