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J Perinat Educ. 2006 Fall;15(4):41-3.

Listening to mothers: take two.

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  • 1JUDITH LOTHIAN is a childbirth educator in Brooklyn, New York, and a member of the Lamaze International Board of Directors. She is also an associate professor in the College of Nursing at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey.


LISTENING TO MOTHERS II: Report of the Second National U.S. Survey of Women's Childbearing Experiences (Declercq, Sakala, Corry, & Applebaum, 2006) is essential reading for the childbirth educator. Birth continues to be "intervention intensive" in the United States, and less than 2% of women have births characterized by the six care practices that promote, protect, and support normal birth. Only a little more than half of the women surveyed attended childbirth education classes, and only 4% reported that childbirth classes were their most important source of information. Seventy-eight percent used the Internet as an information resource. As a result of childbirth classes, women report, they are more confident in their ability to give birth but also less fearful of medical intervention. The results of these and other findings have important implications for childbirth education.

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