Resources List

Need to find some information or that article we posted on ImprovingBirthAbbotsford that we might have shared a few weeks ago that is now buried? Here are the links to some of the most informative sites, articles, and studies on any number of topics.

Empowering Articles to Help You Take Control of Your Birth

Excellent Websites and Blogs

Improving Birth The US-based organization that ImprovingBirthAbbotsford is part of and that Empowering Moms Canada is working to become a chapter of. Contains lots of information on what IB is as well as multiple resources. Most are US-based, but a lot of information still pertains to Canada.

Birth Monopoly A birth rights blog started by Cristen Pascucci. Also affiliated with Improving Birth.

Midwife Thinking An excellent, evidence based blog on pregnancy, labor and birth practices, focused on the physiological process of birth and whether/when benefits of intervention outweighs the risks.

Sara Wickham: Midwife, Speaker, Author, Researcher

Evidence Based Birth



Taking Back Our Power to Birth: Why It Matters

Nope, I Am Not a Doctor…And That’s Kind of the Point Published January 12, 2018. Earth Based Mom excerpt. “If there is anything that I want you to take from this, it is the understanding that the medical system is a huge business that literally will fall and crumble if YOU (us) are not sick. The entire industry of maternity would no longer exist if women believed the simple fact that our bodies were made to give birth and that it is not a medical event.”

Informed Consent and Refusal: What It IS and What It Isn’t

Consent: A guide for Canadian Physicians Published May 2006, Updated June 2016. This handbook outlines the Canadian laws of Informed Consent and Refusal.

Art of Deception in Obstetrics: Deformed Consent Published November 6, 2017. By Lauren McClain. Better Birth Blog excerpt: “When a provider seeks informed consent, it means that refusal is also an option. If you don’t get the idea that there is space in the doctor-patient relationship, in this conversation, for you to say “no,” then it’s not informed consent.”

Informed Consent and Refusal in Obstetrics: A Practical Ethical Guide-  Andrew Kotaska MD Published March 2017. A Canadian Doctor weighs in on the ethical issue of true Informed Consent. If you read only one article on Informed Consent, let it be this one!

ACOG to Docs: Women’s Right to Say “No” Comes First- Birth Monopoly

You’re Not Allowed to Not Allow Me!- Birth Monopoly A statement of truth to share with anyone who thinks they aren’t “allowed” evidence based practices in their hospital or with their doctor due to “policy”

Official Statement of Informed Consent in Ontario Applies to Canadian law on informed consent

Consent Guide For Canadian Physicians- PDF  Canadian law on informed consent. This is what all medical practitioners are legally supposed to adhere to. If they don’t, you have the legal right to file a complaint against them or sue for damages.

Healthcare Consent Act Another Canadian law of Informed Consent, as written in the Healthcare Consent Act


Pregnancy/Before Labor


Variations of Pregnancy


Post-Dates Pregnancy


Routine Induction of Labour at 41 Weeks Gestation: Nonsense Consensus

In 1992 a study was done on post-dates pregnancy that concluded that after 41 weeks the risk of stillbirth increased. Shortly after in 1997 these guidelines were put into place and the routine induction of all women who went past 40 weeks was established as commonplace. But how was that study actually carried out? Another obstetrician studied the raw data and found that these findings were biased. In 2003 he published an article based on his findings.


Choosing a Supportive Care Provider: What to Look For and Why It’s Important

Responsibilities in the Mother-Midwife Relationship- Midwife Thinking

Statistics: What The Numbers Say And What They Mean

Perinatal Services BC Health Reports

Labor–Coping Mechanisms and Support: How To Prepare For An Empowering Birth

The Evidence for Doulas- Evidence Based Birth

Physiological Birth: Birthing Without Interference

Fetal Lung Protein Release Triggers Labor to Begin


Labor Variations and Complications: Variations of Physiological Birth vs the Need for Intervention



Progression of the first stage of spontaneous labour Published January 16, 2018. This is the “revolutionary” study that circulated the blogs and news sites stating that labour “can last a really long time and still result in a healthy baby”.  “Cervical dilatation during labour in the slowest-yet-normal women can progress more slowly than the widely accepted benchmark of 1 cm/hour, irrespective of parity. Interventions to expedite labour to conform to a cervical dilatation threshold of 1 cm/hour may be inappropriate, especially when applied before 5 cm in nulliparous and multiparous women. Averaged labour curves may not truly reflect the variability associated with labour progression, and their use for decision-making in labour management should be de-emphasized.”

The Evidence on Failure to Progress and Friedman’s Curve

Understanding and Assessing Labor Progress

The Anterior Cervical Lip: How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Birth

Cesarean Birth

Caesarean Section versus Natural Birth– an obstetrician examines a new review Published January 25, 2018. “Clearly, it does not make sense to compare the risk of urinary incontinence, say, with the risk of a stillbirth. Obstetricians are aware of the various risks of caesarean versus vaginal delivery and should help to guide the patient in making a decision. In order to prevent any further increase in the caesarean section trend, obstetricians need to take responsibility for how this information is conveyed to patients, taking the patient’s full reproductive life into account, and also aiming to minimise the risks for any following pregnancies. It is an educational and ethical challenge for doctors to balance the potential risk factors of current versus future pregnancies. While women are being given more choice, I don’t think that it is ethical or advisable to let the patient prioritise between different outcomes as the authors suggest. Rather, patients should be informed of all of the risks – at all life stages, for mother and child – and assess their options based on that.”

Long-term risks and benefits associated with cesarean delivery for mother, baby, and subsequent pregnancies. Published January 23, 2018. “When compared with vaginal delivery, cesarean delivery is associated with a reduced rate of urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, but this should be weighed against the association with increased risks for fertility, future pregnancy, and long-term childhood outcomes.”

Gentle Cesarean

Evidence for Skin to Skin After a Cesarean

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)

VBAC: Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill- Midwife Thinking

Breech Birth

Statements and Guidelines on Breech Birth

C-Section Not the Best Option for Breech Birth- The Globe and Mail An article written in 2009 on the disappearance of vaginal breech birth as an option for women, and how an automatic scheduled cesarean for breech is neither safer nor appropriate.

SOGC Guidelines on Vaginal Breech Delivery SOGC (Canadian version of ACOG) guidelines stating that vaginal breech delivery IS a valid option for women and should be offered/woman’s wishes respected. Tl; dnr: If your doctor tells you that you can’t have a vaginal breech birth and that you “HAVE TO” have a c-section, they’re lying. You CAN refuse surgery.

Breech Vaginal Birth

Breech- Gloria Lemay

External Cephalic Version (ECV)

What is the Evidence for Using External Cephalic Version to Turn a Breech Baby?


Cervical Ripening and Induction Guidelines Perinatal Services BC

SOGC Guidelines for Induction of Labor 2013

Evidence on Inducing Labor for Going Past Your Due Date

Evidence on Induction or C-Section for Advanced Maternal Age

Evidence for Inducing Labor If Your Water Breaks At Term (PROM-Prelabor Rupture of Membranes)

Evidence on Induction or C-Section for Big Baby

Ten Things I Wish Every Woman Knew About Induction of Labor by Sara Wickham

Pre-Labor Rupture of Membranes: Impatience and Risk- Midwife Thinking

World Health Organization Recommendations

Don’t Let Them Induce You– Gloria Lemay

Induction Dangers–Gloria Lemay

Routine Procedures


Cervical Exams

The “C” Word: What’s Up With Cervical Exams During Birth?

Membrane Stripping/Sweeping

Membrane Stripping, Membrane Sweeping–Just Say NO!- Gloria Lemay/Wise Woman Way of Birth

Membrane Sweep–6 Facts to Consider Before Having One

Evidence Based Birth–Membrane Sweeping (video)

Stop Stripping Membranes! (Nurturing Hearts Birth Services)

National Institute of Health–Membrane Stripping

Artificial Rupture of Membranes/Breaking The Waters

Breaking Waters: Amniotomy or Spontaneous Rupture?

Artificial Rupture of Membranes- UK Midwifery Archives

Newborn Procedures

Is Erythromycin Eye Ointment Always Necessary for Newborns?- Evidence Based Birth


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