Birth practices probed

University of Lethbridge researchers are looking at women’s expectations of childbirth and the very different reality many experience.

University of Lethbridge researchers are looking at women’s expectations of childbirth and the very different reality many experience.

They want to include Red Deer area women who have given birth in the last year or so.

Claudia Malacrida, primary researcher on the project, said literature shows caesarean births have skyrocketed since the 1990s, but often that’s not what women intended.

“Women, primarily when they talk about what they expect their birth to look like, are opting for a natural birth. For most of them it means: ‘I prefer not to have any medical intervention, but I’m going to a hospital,’ ” said Malacrida, who is also a professor and chair of the sociology department at U of L.

She said once they are at the hospital, they may be encouraged to have an induction if the labour is slow. When faced with severe pain, often women will ask for the epidural, which can slow down labour, so they face additional intervention.

Malacrida said that can lead to disappointment for women.

“I think there’s kind of an idea that women can choose, but in practice it doesn’t play out that way at all.”

The national average for C-sections is about 24 per cent of births. In Red Deer, it’s 29 per cent, she said.

“Red Deer has actually quite high C-section rates, but also has midwives so that’s a really interesting problem because the assumption is that midwifery and women-centred birth professionals would probably help women have less intervention. But it doesn’t always play out that way so we’re looking at a really complicated picture.”

Malacrida said the rise in C-sections have given rise to two camps. One says it’s just a problem of women who are “too posh to push” and the other says it’s just a problem of doctors who want to have a convenient practice.

“Right now it’s: blame the doctor, blame the mother. And that really doesn’t help anybody. By looking at the perspective of multiple stakeholders, we hope to provide recommendations that might deal with this more complicated set of experiences.”

Researchers have so far interviewed about 40 women in the Lethbridge and Calgary area.

Malacrida said a few of those women made the decision to have a planned caesarean section for their first birth without medical indications.

It’s an option that’s slowly becoming more socially acceptable.

Researchers want to hear all sides and will be in Red Deer on Sept. 18, 19 and 20. They have set up interviews with Red Deer-area midwives and also want to speak to obstetricians, gynecologists, nurse educators and doulas.

To set up an interview, contact research project co-ordinator Tiffany Boulton at tiffany.boulton@uleth.ca or call her at 403-332-4489.

The project is being funded by Alberta Innovates Health Solutions.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Ad firm says controversial billboards promoting Bernier’s party staying up

OTTAWA — The owner of billboards currently showcasing ads that seek to… Continue reading

14 year old and family need community support after teen hit by car

A 14 year old and his family need financial help after the… Continue reading

Police say someone fired paintballs at people outside drug consumption site in Lethbridge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Police in southern Alberta are investigating after they say… Continue reading

Is federal carbon tax killing jobs? Experts say answer isn’t ‘black and white’

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government says the federal carbon tax is killing… Continue reading

New book assesses Trudeau government’s record of living up to pledges

OTTAWA — A new book arriving on the eve of the federal… Continue reading

WATCH: Snakes, lizards and more at the Western Canadian Reptile Expo in Red Deer

The 10th annual Western Canadian Reptile Expo is this weekend in Red… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Tuesday and Sept. 3 The Tony Connelly Singers provide an opportunity to… Continue reading

A look at policy areas scrutinized by a new book on the Trudeau government

OTTAWA — A group of two dozen Canadian academics took a deep… Continue reading

Father of suspected B.C. killer seeks access to video taken before son’s death

VANCOUVER — The father of a suspected killer of three people in… Continue reading

US tech industry becomes hotbed for employee activism

SAN FRANCISCO — When Liz O’Sullivan was hired at the New York… Continue reading

Jolie shares pride in son Maddox, joining Marvel movie

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Angelina Jolie says she’s “so proud” that her 18-year-old… Continue reading

Extinction bites: countries agree to protect sharks and rays

GENEVA — Countries have agreed to protect more than a dozen shark… Continue reading

Trudeau and Trump hold face to face meeting on sidelines of G7 summit

BIARRITZ, France — Justin Trudeau met face-to-face with U.S. President Donald Trump… Continue reading

Study reveals new details of overseas Cold War intelligence effort by Canadians

OTTAWA — Canada enlisted citizens who travelled to Communist countries during the… Continue reading

Most Read