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Special Belly Buttons: Recognition, Implications, and Management of Gastroschisis and Omphalocele in the Out-of-Hospital Practice

The prevalence of the congenital defect gastroschisis has increased significantly in the past 20 years, both in the United States and worldwide, and it disproportionately affects the babies of adolescents and those who are socially disadvantaged. Another abdominal wall defect, omphalocele, may seem similar to gastroschisis but is actually quite different. Gastroschisis and omphalocele are the most common abdominal wall defects and, together, account for the greatest average length of hospital stay for infants in the U.S. These anomalies are associated with a high mortality rate in communities with limited medical resources. Immediate recognition and appropriate management can reduce mortality rates and improve quality of life for survivors. This workshop utilizes instruction, discussion, and role play to prepare midwives to identify gastroschisis and omphalocele prenatally or upon birth, and to appropriately manage care of the newborn until transfer to a tertiary care facility has been completed. We will also utilize gastroschisis as a case study of the importance of accessible holistic maternity care for all people.

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