Q&A with the Authors of The Labor Progress Handbook
Tell us a little bit about your book – who is it aimed at and how will it help them?
Our book is directed primarily toward l doctors, midwives, nurses, and educators, but also we find that doulas and childbirth educators also find it valuable. To our knowledge, The Labor Progress Handbook
is the only book that focuses on safe, effective, low-technology, low-cost, low-risk ways to maintain and enhance labor progress.
These are all strategies that can be tried in non-urgent situations, and may prevent or resolve labor progress problems without the need for the higher-technology and higher risk medical and surgical solutions that are sometimes necessary. What inspired this new edition of The Labor Progress Handbook?
We wanted to update the topics we have addressed in the previous editions. Also, we wanted to expand the scope of the book to include instruction and research evidence on low technology clinical interventions (manual techniques, medications, and others), for practitioners who prefer a low intervention management style.
We also added a chapter on ways to maintain and promote progress and normalcy in the third and fourth stages of labor. We have a new contributor for these chapters, Lisa Hanson, CNM, PhD. To accommodate this new material, along with updates throughout the book, this edition is about 100 pages longer than the previous one.
What differentiates your book from others in the field?
We are not aware of any other book that combines all the same information in one source. Also, our first 8 chapters serve as a text, with in-depth, evidence-based discussion and explanations. The last two chapters – the “Labor Progress Toolkit” --are formatted for quick reference when working with a laboring woman. Why did you feel it was important to include two new chapters, one on low technology interventions and one about management of the third and fourth stages?
As stated above, we felt the new chapters round out the topics and make for a comprehensive approach to the whole of labor, and offer more effective ways to minimize the need for high intervention management techniques.
Dr. Hanson contributed her expertise, making the book more useful for medical and nursing professionals looking for updated information. These new chapters also help doulas and childbirth educators understand and assist when low technology approaches are used. What do you feel are the reasons for the success of The Labor Progress Handbook over the years?
We wrote the LPH because we were aware of a large number of labor progress strategies, but they had never been gathered systematically into one publication. We were very concerned over the rapid increase in primary cesareans, most of which were done for inadequate progress in labor.
Our intention was to compile and present every effective and safe low-intervention technique to maintain or restore labor progress. Care providers need a quick reference to the many low-risk, ‘primary’ interventions that can be tried, before implementing higher-tech, higher risk interventions.
"Each edition of The Labor Progress Handbook improves on the previous one, and this third edition is an even more indispensable resource for maternity care practitioners, especially within the context of today's overuse of birth technology, cesarean sections, and nonevidence-based management practices. Congratulations, Penny Simkin and Ruth Ancheta! You've given caregivers a powerful gift to pass on to childbearing women ... again!." (Birth, 1 March 2012)