What’s normal in labour? And what do women want during labour?

Doreen Anican  recovers after a successful normal delivery in the Maternal Health ward in Parombo Health Centre III in the West Nile region, Uganda in June 2010. Looking on are the health workers who assisted her during the delivery. ©UNICEF/Noorani

The Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Health, just organized on 6 June a webinar on ‘What’s in a good birth? WHO recommendations on intrapartum care for a positive childbirth experience’.

Dr Olufemi Oladapo, maternal, perinatal, and newborn health research and public health expert, working in the Department of Reproductive Health and Research, WHO, presented the newly released WHO guideline on intrapartum care and explained why we may have to reconsider what we see as normal in the progression of labour.

Listen to the webinar recording

Access the presentation

He stressed that the increased medicalization of labour in the last two decades, motivated by the desire to improve outcomes for women and babies tends in fact to undermine the woman’s own capability to give birth and negatively impacts her childbirth experience. Dr Oladapo focused on the experience of care, as a critical aspect of ensuring high-quality labour and childbirth care and improved woman-centred outcomes, and not just complementary to provision of routine clinical practices.

This guideline focuses on the care of all healthy pregnant women and their babies during labour and childbirth in any health care setting. It covers essential care that should be provided throughout labour and childbirth, and interventions specific to the first,  second, and third stages of labour.

The guideline was based on a consultative process to understand what women want, need and value during childbirth - a positive childbirth experience that fulfils or exceeds their prior personal and sociocultural beliefs and expectations. It includes 56 recommendations, grouped and presented according to the timing of the practice ranging from labour onset through to the immediate postnatal period.

The presentation was followed by a Q&A session.


See the details on all previous Quality of Care Network’s webinars 


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