Academic journal article Pre- and Peri-natal Psychology Journal

Editorial

Academic journal article Pre- and Peri-natal Psychology Journal

Editorial

Article excerpt

I do believe that an acid test of the pre- and perinatal psychology will be the extent to which it influences actual OB/GYN practices. That these practices are in sore need of change seems beyond doubt.

I have seen two publications since our last issue went to bed that underscore the need for such changes in procedures. One of these publications is Dr. Robbie E. Davis-Floyd's recent book, Birth as an American Rite of Passage (University of California Press, 1992). In this remarkable study Dr. Davis-Floyd supports the idea that many American obstetrical practices are in fact rituals that perpetuate technocratic cultural values and are unsupportable on any scientific grounds.

In this regard, I also bring to your attention a recent study by Dr. Michael C. Klein and his associates ("Does Episiotomy Prevent Perineal Trauma and Pelvic Floor Relaxation?" Current Clinical Trials Vol. 1, Document 10, 1992). The study tests the efficacy of routine episiotomy in preventing perineal tears and pelvic floor relaxation. They found in fact that episiotomies tend to promote, rather than prevent perineal trauma. Their conclusion was that "liberal or routine use of episiotomy be abandoned."

What do you bet that obstetrics will not just drop the practice of episiotomy? Indeed, there has been evidence around for years that episiotomy in most instances causes more trouble than the practice is worth. …

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