Routine Interventions in Labor & Birth in Canada

Wiley InterScience is offering a free copy of the journal Birth, and this was one of the articles in it (if you can’t see it, you may need to get the free sample — sometimes Wiley is a bit weird about their links popping up as expired cookies or something). It was a study of randomly chosen women in Canada, asking about their experiences during labor. Very interesting to see the responses. I could talk about a lot of things, such as the rates of inductions, episiotomies, epidurals, C-sections, etc., but the thing that really got me the most was that 19% of women had a pubic/perineal shave! Really?? I thought that went out in the late 70s or early 80s! My mom said that was the most humiliating and embarassing thing she had to endure during labor, and it hampered her recovery as well, because it was very itchy and uncomfortable growing back in.

It’s studies like this that make me, “Oh, really?” when I hear certain people claim that doctors and hospitals practice evidence-based medicine. Not when almost 1 in 5 Canadian women (and perhaps a similar percentage here in the States) are shaved when they give birth. Ugh.

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