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Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)

Obstetrics

List of Articles

  • Breastfeeding Guidelines for Healthcare Providers
    The promotion of breastfeeding is an ongoing priority of the Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC). The purpose of this document is to promote breastfeeding and work with national and international organizations dedicated to promoting the health of infants worldwide to formulate guidelines for breastfeeding. Where breastfeeding practices are suboptimal, simple one-encounter antenatal education and counseling significantly improve breastfeeding practice up to 3 months after delivery. Healthcare providers should make every effort to have at least one face-to-face encounter to discuss breastfeeding with expectant mothers before they deliver. Human milk provides developmental, nutritional, and immunologic benefits to the infant that cannot be duplicated by formula feeding.

  • The Ethical Concept of the Fetus as a Patient
    Ethics is an essential dimension of obstetrical practice. In this paper, authors have developed a framework for clinical judgment and decision-making about the ethical dimensions of the obstetrician-patient relationship. Authors emphasize a preventive ethics approach that appreciates the potential for ethical conflict and adopts ethically justified strategies to prevent those conflicts from occurring. First defined are ethics, medical ethics, and the fundamental ethical principles of medical ethics, beneficence and respect for autonomy. Authors then show how these two principles should interact in obstetric judgment and practice, with emphasis on the core concept of the fetus as a patient.

  • Immunization During Pregnancy
    The purpose of this document is to understand immunization during pregnancy. Immunization saves lives and prevents disease. There are many national resources available to help you fine-tune your vaccination practices. If you have not yet incorporated vaccination into your practices, now would be a great time to start. Immunizations are considered one of the major medical achievements of the 20th century. However, inadequate vaccination remains an important public health problem. This document reflects emerging clinical and scientific advances and current information on the safety of vaccines given during pregnancy. The benefits of immunization to the pregnant woman and her neonate usually outweigh the theoretic risk of adverse effects. The theoretic risks of the vaccination of pregnant women with killed virus vaccines have not been identified. Preconceptional immunization of women to prevent disease in the offspring, when practical, is preferred to vaccination of pregnant women with certain vaccines.

  • Pregnancy and Nutrition
    There have always been differing approaches, even controversies with regard to the role of food intake during pregnancy. Traditional beliefs from a wide variety of cultures present divergent approaches. At present, nutritional care during pregnancy is based on the following general premises: women are encouraged to eat a variety of foods "to appetite", to achieve adequate weight gain as determined by their pre-pregnancy body mass index, and to breast-feed their infants after birth. Nutritional problems can be found in women of every socioeconomic status and range from an inability to acquire and prepare food to eating disorders. If the women cannot afford a sufficient supply of food, she should be referred to food pantries and soup kitchens in her area. All low-income women should receive information about the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and food stamp program. All WIC programs have nutritionists who are required to counsel patients on these matters. Poor weight gain also may reflect substance abuse, domestic violence, or depression.

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