Hello! My name is Rebecca Dekker, and I am the founder of Evidence Based Birth®. I am also a mother, wife, PhD-prepared nurse researcher, and blogger – in that order!
For decades, the vast majority of birth research evidence has been locked away in medical journals. I believe in putting the evidence back in the hands of the people who need it the most: women and families.
In 2012, I embarked on a mission to create a trusted, non-biased source for the most current, evidence-based information on pregnancy and childbirth. This project came to be known as Evidence Based Birth®.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, Evidence Based Birth® gives you a starting point to find evidence about your options during childbirth, and a way to start conversations with your healthcare providers about those options. Our free, evidence-based printables are written in the language of your providers, but so that you and your significant others can understand, too.
Whether you are trying to find information on gestational diabetes, labor induction, or newborn procedures, Evidence Based Birth® provides you with an in-depth look at the research evidence in language that you can understand. We specialize in breaking down complex topics and making them easy for you to learn.
If you are a maternity health care provider or birth professional, Evidence Based Birth® is your new go-to source for find unbiased, fact-based information to inform your practice. And if you are looking for continuing education, Evidence Based Birth® is a place to earn contact hours that will help you support your clients and patients with the highest quality, most relevant information about maternity care practices.
In 2008, when my first daughter was born, I went into childbirth with rose-colored glasses. My husband and I didn’t prepare much beyond taking the standard hospital childbirth class. Having practiced as a cardiovascular nurse, I trusted that the nurses and care providers at my hospital would take excellent care of me during the labor and delivery process.
Imagine my surprise when I showed up at the hospital in labor, and I was treated as if I was one of my own heart failure patients! I was told I could not eat or drink, get out of bed, or use the bathroom. I was then pressured into a host of interventions—none of which were medically necessary—and some of which led to complications that made my recovery and first weeks as a mother very difficult.
While I was in labor, I assumed that this care was being done in my best interests, but, still, something about the whole experience just felt a little “off” to me. I was healthy and strong—so why was I being treated like I was sick?
How was it that I’d entered the hospital healthy and confident, and left quite the opposite—and this was a “normal” experience?
As a nurse researcher and nursing professor, I already knew that evidence-based practice was the gold standard in medicine and nursing. But I began to wonder… was the care that I had received evidence based? And what was the evidence for everything that happened in the delivery room?
So I set out on a quest to learn about the research evidence behind every practice and complication that I had encountered during my daughter’s birth.
When I started looking into the evidence, I was shocked. Almost all of the care I had received has been shown by high-quality research evidence to be harmful to healthy women who are giving birth. What’s more, I found out that the type of care I had received was “routine” all across the U.S.—and that model has been copied in places all over the world!
When I got pregnant again, I wanted my next birth to be different. I wanted my baby’s birth to be evidence based.
After my son was born—an incredibly empowering experience in which I received evidence-based care—I felt an intense drive to share what I had learned with others. I had compiled so much research evidence on birth—what if other people could benefit from it?
And so in 2012, Evidence Based Birth® was born!
I began posting summaries of the research evidence that I had found. The response from the public was nothing short of astounding. Traffic to Evidence Based Birth® grew rapidly (3,500% in the first year alone!), and within months I began receiving requests to speak, write, and even consult for health organizations all around the world.
Today, Evidence Based Birth® has grown beyond my wildest dreams. I am so grateful to you—my readers—for helping me decide which topics to cover, for patiently awaiting new articles, and for encouraging me, supporting me, and sharing the website with your friends.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope to hear from you very soon!