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First Do No Harm: Interventions During Childbirth

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Although medical and technological advances in maternity care have drastically reduced maternal and infant mortality, these interventions have become commonplace if not routine. Used appropriately, they can be life-saving procedures. Routine use, without valid indications, can transform childbirth from a normal physiologic process and family life event into a medical or surgical procedure. Every intervention presents the possibility of untoward effects and additional risks that engender the need for more interventions with their own inherent risks. Unintended consequences to intrapartum interventions make it imperative that nurse educators work with other professionals to promote natural childbirth processes and advocate for policies that focus on ensuring informed consent and alternative choices. Interdisciplinary collaboration can ensure that intrapartum caregivers “first do no harm.”
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Keywords: childbirth education; complications; intrapartum interventions; risk factors; technological advances

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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