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Free Content When Parents Ask…about Preterm Birth, Breastfeeding Success, Breast Cancer, or Waterbirth

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In this column, the author reviews research on four separate topics: the prevention of preterm birth, the effect of epidurals on breastfeeding success, the possible protective effect of lactation on breast cancer, and laboring in water. In two separate studies—a multisite study in the United States and a second study from Brazil—natural progesterone was shown to significantly reduce the incidence of preterm birth in women at high risk. A third study conducted in the United Kingdom examined the effect of clindamycin on preventing infection that can lead to preterm birth. A group of studies related to lactation found that early breastfeeding was more successful in women who did not have epidural anesthesia. In a Korean study, the lifetime duration of breastfeeding was associated with a significant reduction in breast cancer. Concerning waterbirth, Swiss researchers found that, when a woman labored in water, she regulated both water temperature and bathing duration to ensure that her body temperature and that of the fetus remained within a normal physiological range.

Keywords: epidurals; waterbirth

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: MARY LOU MOORE is an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Publication date: 2003-09-01

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