The National Institute of Nursing Research/National Institutes of Health has issued a $336,408 grant to the UNM College of Nursing and Professor Leah Albers, CNM, DrPH, to study lowering the rate of genital trauma to the new mother at birth. The money will fund the first year of a four-year study.

Each year, over three million women in the United States have vaginal births and most experience trauma to the genital tract. These injuries cause both long and short-term problems for the mother as well as pain and other functional impairments.

The study, conducted by Albers and the UNM Midwives, will assess the effects of techniques used by nurse-midwives on rates of spontaneous lacerations to the birth canal. A randomized trial of 1,200 low-risk women will be recruited in six Albuquerque clinics that are staffed by certified nurse-midwives.

"This study will identify which techniques are better for reducing trauma at childbirth" Albers said. "It will provide information to nurses, nurse-midwives, family physicians and obstetricians when working with child-bearing women."
Contact: HSC Public Affairs, 272-3322