Doctors, nurses, midwives and doulas will debate healthy labor and delivery practices - including the use of the synthetic hormone Pitocin to hasten childbirth and vitamin K to speed blood clotting in newborns -- at the third annual Cedars-Sinai Birth Community Day, Aug. 14.
"As new research leads to new best practices, we must continue to transform our models of care," said Sarah J. Kilpatrick, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Helping Hand of Los Angeles Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology. "Every mother is unique, and we want to respond appropriately to her needs while making her sure her health and safety, and that of the child, are always the priority."
Medical professionals and alternative childbirth advocates have historically differed in their views on the best ways to approach childbirth, with mothers often caught in the middle. Even experienced obstetricians can vary in their approaches to medicating mothers in labor or supplementing newborns with vitamins and other drugs.
The idea of the birth summit began as a conversation between an experienced Cedars-Sinai labor and delivery nurse and a doula. "At Cedars-Sinai we find some families seek to support their pregnancy and labor experience by consulting midwives or doulas. This meeting is a valuable opportunity for a constructive exchange of ideas and practices," said summit organizer, Marle A. Shelton-Hoff RNC, MSN, nurse manager, Labor & Delivery.
"This year we are featuring a panel of experienced doctors and alternative childbirth professionals to debate current best practices in the delivery room," said Kimberly D. Gregory, MD, MPH, vice chair of Women's Healthcare Quality and Performance Improvement in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai.
"This provides the healthcare community an opportunity to share valuable knowledge and experience about the best ways to ensure a safe, comfortable and memorable birthing experience," said Gregory.
This year's meeting will also include a presentation on public cord blood donation, a program that allows families to donate umbilical cord blood, which is rich in stem cells, to a nonprofit program that makes it available to sick children who may benefit from a stem cell transplant.
The annual Birth Community Day meeting is held in collaboration with the doula organization DONA and BiniBIRTH, a childbirth education organization. The Aug. 14 event will run from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Cedars-Sinai's Harvey Morse Auditorium.