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Healthy Birth Practice #4: Avoid Interventions Unless They Are Medically Necessary

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Maternity care in the United States is intervention intensive. The routine use of intravenous fluids, restrictions on eating and drinking, continuous electronic fetal monitoring, epidural analgesia, and augmentation of labor characterize most U.S. births. The use of episiotomy is far from restrictive. These interventions disturb the normal physiology of labor and birth and restrict women’s ability to cope with labor. The result is a cascade of interventions that increase risk, including the risk of cesarean surgery, for women and babies. This article is an updated evidence-based review of the “Lamaze International Care Practices That Promote Normal Birth, Care Practice #4: No Routine Interventions,” published in The Journal of Perinatal Education, 16(3), 2007.
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Keywords: augmentation of labor; cascade of interventions; cesarean surgery; electronic fetal monitoring; epidural analgesia; episiotomy; intravenous fluids in labor; optimal care; restrictions on eating and drinking in labor

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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