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close this bookCare in Normal Birth (WHO, 1996, 60 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the document6.1 Practices which are Demonstrably Useful and Should be Encouraged
View the document6.2 Practices which are Clearly Harmful or Ineffective and Should be Eliminated
View the document6.3 Practices for which Insufficient Evidence Exists to Support a Clear Recommendation and which Should be Used with Caution while Further Research Clarifies the Issue
View the document6.4 Practices which are Frequently Used Inappropriately

6.1 Practices which are Demonstrably Useful and Should be Encouraged

1. A personal plan determining where and by whom birth will be attended, made with the woman during pregnancy and made known to her husband/partner and, if applicable, to the family (1.3).

2. Risk assessment of pregnancy during prenatal care, reevaluated at each contact with the health system and at the time of the first contact with the caregiver during labour, and throughout labour (1.3).

3. Monitoring the woman’s physical and emotional well-being throughout labour and delivery, and at the conclusion of the birth process (2.1).

4. Offering oral fluids during labour and delivery (2.3).

5. Respecting women’s informed choice of place of birth (2.4).

6. Providing care in labour and delivery at the most peripheral level where birth is feasible and safe and where the woman feels safe and confident (2.4, 2.5).

7. Respecting the right of women to privacy in the birthing place (2.5).

8. Empathic support by caregivers during labour and birth (2.5).

9. Respecting women’s choice of companions during labour and birth (2.5).

10. Giving women as much information and explanation as they desire (2.5).

11. Non-invasive, non-pharmacological methods of pain relief during labour, such as massage and relaxation techniques (2.6).

12. Fetal monitoring with intermittent auscultation (2.7).

13. Single use of disposable materials and appropriate decontamination of reusable materials throughout labour and delivery (2.8).

14. Use of gloves in vaginal examination, during delivery of the baby and in handling the placenta (2.8).

15. Freedom in position and movement throughout labour (3.2).

16. Encouragement of non-supine position in labour (3.2, 4.6).

17. Careful monitoring of the progress of labour, for instance by the use of the WHO partograph (3.4).

18. Prophylactic oxytocin in the third stage of labour in women with a risk of postpartum haemorrhage, or endangered by even a small amount of blood loss (5.2, 5.4).

19. Sterility in the cutting of the cord (5.6).

20. Prevention of hypothermia of the baby (5.6).

21. Early skin-to-skin contact between mother and child and support of the initiation of breast-feeding within 1 hour postpartum in accordance with the WHO guidelines on breast-feeding (5.6).

22. Routine examination of the placenta and the membranes (5.7).