Respond to AJOG's support of poorly designed studies!
High-quality research on the safety of out-of-hospital birth with professional midwives is an essential support to good practice and to continuous improvement in the delivery of services to women and infants. Unfortunately, the recent meta-analysis by Wax, et al, of the Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine published online on July 1, 2010 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG) on newborn outcomes in planned home birth vs. planned hospital birth, is far from the high-quality rigorous review that health care providers and the public expect. Not only are Wax's conclusions in direct conflict with a growing international body of quality research that demonstrates the safety of home birth for low-risk women and their infants when attended by trained professional midwives, but his methodology is deeply flawed. Rather than contributing to the improvement of services and reliable information for childbearing women and providers, his alarmist conclusions will only serve to support the increased use of medical interventions in childbirth that have consistently been shown to cause more harm than good to women and infants.
If you believe in women's rights to unbiased and accurate information, and access to safe support for out of hospital birth, let AJOG know you object to their choice of approaches!
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