I find it interesting that the American Medical Association thinks it can convince everyone that an alternative health option is unhelpful by doing a study which uses completely unrelated evidence.
For example, the Cochrane Collaboration and Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus have published very good studies on the use of professional labor support doulas. They determined that using a birth doula lowers medical complications, increases the mother’s satisfaction of the birth, lowers her use of pain medications and interventions, and increases benefits for the baby and father as well. But one of the important pieces of information in these studies was that these benefits are not transferred when women use a nurse to give them continuous, non-medical, labor support.
And yet, the AMA feels that if they want to do a study on NURSES offering labor support, they can prove to the world that women should not use doulas. See this study they published in 2002. Granted, this study is now almost seven years old, but I just find it upsetting that they deliberately change one of the most significant portions of the original study and then try to convince people that it is just as good a study with just as accurate results.
Because it’s not! All women, especially those who are low-income, single, or teen, receive multiple physical and emotional benefits if they are attended in labor by a trained doula who is not related to the mother and who does not work in the hospital. The AMA is just dead-set on proving that they are god and no one can do better than them, so there, I have proved them wrong! ;0)
At the end of the summary the authors of this AMA study concluded that contrary to earlier studies continuous labor support does not reduce the use of cesarean sections, but unbeknownst to them, they actually confirmed earlier studies, which stated that labor support persons who are nurses do not change intervention rates, that in order to make any signficant changes in maternity care, the labor support persons MUST NOT BE HOSPITAL STAFF!!!!
I have not been able to find the full content of this study, so I cannot confirm whether the nurses were on duty at the hospital when they attended the births, whether they were indeed nurses at all, or any other important details, but judging by the wording of the summary, we can conclude that the original studies on doulas were indeed accurate, and AMA is just plain jealous.