I am reading all these articles that quibble over definitions of and differences in
early term and full term and late term and postterm and
number needed to treat and
odds ratios of this or that with 95% confidence intervals of this or that and
adequately powered studies and
appropriate comparison groups and
relative risk and odds ratios and p values
so that I can be as fully informed as possible when a pregnant person I’m serving as midwife asks me what the risks and benefits are of choosing one path over another.
so that I can, to the best of my ability, paint a picture of what we know and what we don’t know about what might happen.
so that I can help the folks I serve feel confident that they have as much information as they want and need to make their own decisions.
The end goal is not the paper. It’s not to be an expert on a particular topic. It’s not to be able to say I’ve read it all.
It’s to help each person I serve be able to make decisions about their pregnancy and feel a sense of empowerment in their health and well-being.
That helps a little, to remember the women I have served so far in clinic, to picture their faces, their families, and to imagine distilling these 30+ studies into a conversation with them:
“Here is what we know about what happens when pregnancies extend beyond 40 weeks…it is complex, and I trust you to make the decision that is best for you and your family. What questions can I answer for you?”