May 24, 2006

Contact: Lauren Cruse (505) 272-3690

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(UNM, Albuquerque)-A midwifery research paper written by University of New Mexico College of Nursing (UNM CON) faculty member Leah Albers and her team was named Best Article of the Year for 2005 by the Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health. The article will be recognized at an awards ceremony at the national American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah held May 27-June 1.

The article was a result of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded midwifery clinical trial which studied midwifery care measures in the second stage of labor and reduction of genital tract trauma (birth canal tears) at birth.

The main objective of the study was to compare perineal protection techniques late in the second stage of labor that would possibly help reduce spontaneous genital tract lacerations with normal vaginal childbirth. The techniques compared were warm compresses to the perineal area, massage with lubricant or no touching of the perineum until crowning of the infant's head. The study randomized 1,211 healthy women in midwifery care at UNM Hospital.

The study found that the techniques did not help or cause any harm. But, two other care measures were associated with a lower rate of birth canal lacerations which included an upright position for delivery and a slow and controlled delivery with the baby's head delivered between uterine contractions.

The Study Team

Leah Albers, CNM, DrPH, FACNM, FAAN, has been a midwifery teacher and researcher at the UNM CON since 1991. She was the principal investigator for the study.

Kay Sedler, CNM, MN, FACNM, has been Chief of the Nurse-Midwifery Division and a faculty member in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UNM Health Sciences Center since 1983. She was a co-investigator for the study and managed the clinical operations.

Edward J. Bedrick, PhD, is Professor of Statistics at UNM. He was the study's statistician.

Dusty Teaf, MA, is a computer hardware and software expert at UNM. She generated the randomized allocation sequence, created the data entry platform for the study, and served as the database manager.

Patricia Peralta was administrator for the study and coordinated all data collection, entry, and verification. She assisted Dr. Albers with all aspects of the study.