Maternal-infant health in the United States is in crisis. Huge financial resources are devoted to care yet maternal mortality, life-threatening maternal morbidity, preterm birth, and low birth weight are all very high. Outcomes for mothers and infants in America are the worst among high-income nations. In spite of efforts over the past 30 years to improve health care disparity among childbearing women, to provide available and accessible primary health care, and to avert complications through early intervention, outcomes have worsened. Poor health indicators among mothers and infants plague our nation. Many concerned voices are calling for change to evidence-based policy and practice in the care of childbearing women and their infants. The Institute of Medicine has led the discussion recommending strategies to promote evidence-based practices, including disseminating knowledge about deficits in the maternity care system and the need for care grounded in scientific evidence.
When we began discussing our new book, Best Practices in Midwifery, these facts were foremost in our minds. Maternity care in the U.S. needs to change. Nurse-midwives are key players. Both historically and in contemporary society, they challenge practices and advocate for the use of scientific evidence in the clinical setting. Through the Core Competencies for Midwifery Education and Standards for the Practice of Midwifery, nurse-midwives are grounded in an educational framework that espouses the normalcy of birth and the need for collaborative care models in improving quality of care.
Best Practices in Midwifery is about controversial issues in the care of childbearing women in the U.S. It examines various levels of evidence for existing practices, describes the effects of these practices on maternal and infant outcomes, and provides guidance on evidence-based best practices in nurse-midwifery care. It aims to provide a road map for nurse-midwives who strive to move unsubstantiated maternity care practices toward an evidence-based model.
There is no current book published in the U.S. that discusses evidence-based best practices for nurse-midwives around the most controversial areas of practice. Ours is a contemporary text addressing best practices and strategies for change for nurse-midwives and other clinicians who daily face controversial and often scientifically unsubstantiated approaches in the care of the mothers and infants in our nation.
Read a news release on Best Practices in Midwifery.