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Does Your Doctor Know Squat? An Interview With “Birth Guru” Henci Goer

Written by Brian Wimer   
Friday, 01 September 2006 00:00
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Why do OB/GYNs have women labor in beds when squatting is the better way to birth? More importantly, does your OB/GYN, in particular, know the researchbased facts regarding obstetrics in America? Or, is your OB/GYN perpetuating the myths that keep pregnant women from making practical, logical decisions for childbirth?

Award-winning medical writer Henci Goer, author of The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth and Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities, makes the case that mothers are being kept in the dark. Contributing writer Brian Wimer caught up with Goer during an East Coast tour, promoting the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative.

Why did you first begin writing about evidence-based childbirth care?

Does your Doctor Know SquatGoer: There is a gap, you may even say a chasm, between what the research establishes as safe and effective care and what conventional practice is. I essentially wrote the book that I wanted on my shelf but didn’t exist...in the same way that Consumer Reports does the research and presents it to people who want to know what car they want to buy...this car has a poor repair record, this car gives you a bumpy ride, this car explodes on impact.

Wimer: Why is there a gap?

Goer: I don’t think that many obstetricians are reading the research. At best they are reading the digest that they get in their trade magazines.

Wimer: Is it because they aren’t aware of the clinical research? Or, it is more willful than that?

Goer: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) could play the role here in leading obstetricians to practicing evidence-based care...but they have, quite honestly, chosen not to do that.

They [ACOG] are a trade union. They are there to protect the interest of their doctors. Sometimes that overlaps with what’s best for women and babies. But, where it does not, they will follow what’s best for their members.