This is at least the third time I have received a “blog partnership request” from someone named Eashwar at ExpedientInfoMedia.com, and he wants me to put up a link for one of the blogs in his network called “The Pregnancy Zone”. I am not going to link to them, but they aren’t too hard to find with a simple search.
I actually went and checked out the site when I was invited the first time, and sent dear Eashwar a detailed critique of the first article I read, which happened to be on ectopic pregnancy. I thought it was incredibly poorly written, and had obviously not been fact checked by a practitioner. I never received a reply.
I ignored the second invite, and began to read about other bloggers being offered a similar link exchange deal with the same form letter.
I received a third email from him today. Just for fun, I decided to check out the site, to see if there was any improvement in the quality of information.
Here is the information that is available for “39 weeks gestation” as physical signs before labor starts:
* You will lose the mucus plug sometime before the labor sets in.
* The water will break down.
* Before you feel the contractions, you will observe some brown-red colored discharge from your vagina.
“The water will break down”? What does that even mean? If it means the water will break, not break down, that happens only in 20% of women before the onset of labor. As for the water breaking “down”, that sounds to me like it is losing quality or falling apart before the baby is even full term at 40 weeks, which is entirely inaccurate.
Even worse, at the bottom of the entry, it reads:
“Do you know about the procedure named as episiotomy? Basically, this is the method in which an incision is made between your vagina and anus. Most of the practitioners claim that the procedure helps to avoid severe splitting when the baby comes into the world.”
Me: head exploding. Them: no citations or academic sources for the article.
I am providing some references here, in case anyone wants to read why episiotomy will NOT help to “avoid severe splitting”, but is actually the leading risk factor for “severe splitting”, if that includes third and fourth degree tears.
(1) ACOG Practice Bulletin. Episiotomy. Clinical Management Guidelines for Obstetrician-Gynecologists. Number 71, April 2006. Obstet Gynecol 2006 April;107(4):957-62.
(2) Althabe F, Buekens P, Bergel E et al. A behavioral intervention to improve obstetrical care. N Engl J Med 2008 May 1;358(18):1929-40.
(3) Berghella V, Baxter JK, Chauhan SP. Evidence-based labor and delivery management. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2008 November;199(5):445-54.
(4) Carroli G, Mignini L. Episiotomy for vaginal birth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009;(1):CD000081.
(5) Costa ML, Cecatti JG, Milanez HM, Souza JP, Gulmezoglu M. Audit and feedback: effects on professional obstetrical practice and healthcare outcomes in a university hospital. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2009;88(7):793-800.
(6) Drew NC, Salmon P, Webb L. Mothers’, midwives’ and obstetricians’ views on the features of obstetric care which influence satisfaction with childbirth. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1989 September;96(9):1084-8.
(7) Goer H, Sagady LM, Romano A. Step 6: Does Not Routinely Employ Practices, Procedures Unsupported by Scientific Evidence: The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services. J Perinat Educ 2007;16(Suppl 1):32S-64S.
(8) Hartmann K, Viswanathan M, Palmieri R, Gartlehner G, Thorp J, Jr., Lohr KN. Outcomes of routine episiotomy: a systematic review. JAMA 2005 May 4;293(17):2141-8.
(9) Helewa ME. Episiotomy and severe perineal trauma. Of science and fiction. CMAJ 1997 March 15;156(6):811-3.
(10) Klein MC. Studying episiotomy: when beliefs conflict with science. J Fam Pract 1995 November;41(5):483-8.
(11) Klein MC, Kaczorowski J, Robbins JM, Gauthier RJ, Jorgensen SH, Joshi AK. Physicians’ beliefs and behaviour during a randomized controlled trial of episiotomy: consequences for women in their care. CMAJ 1995 September 15;153(6):769-79.
(12) Lothian JA, Amis D, Crenshaw J. Care Practice #4: No Routine Interventions. J Perinat Educ 2007;16(3):29-34.
(13) Low LK, Seng JS, Murtland TL, Oakley D. Clinician-specific episiotomy rates: impact on perineal outcomes. J Midwifery Womens Health 2000 March;45(2):87-93.
Needless to say, I will not be adding this site to my blogroll, and I hope they don’t add me to theirs. I hope than any other birthy blogger who receives invites from The Pregnancy Zone, or any other site for that matter, actually goes and looks at the quality of the information on the site before deciding to add them to the blogroll.