Care for women in labor in the United States is in a period of significant transition. Many intrapartum care practices that are standard policies in hospitals today were instituted in the 20th century without strong evidence for their effect on the laboring woman, labor progress, or newborn outcomes. Contemporary research has shown that many common practices, such as routine intravenous fluids, electronic fetal monitoring, and routine episiotomies, do more harm than good. In 2010, the American College of Nurse-Midwives released a PowerPoint presentation titled Evidence-Based Practice: Pearls of Midwifery. This presentation reviews 13 intrapartum-care strategies that promote normal physiologic vaginal birth and are associated with a lower cesarean rate. They are also practices long associated with midwifery care. This article reviews the history of intrapartum practices that are now changing, the evidence that supports these changes, and the practical applications for the 13 Pearls of Midwifery.
Authors: Kind, T. L., & Pinger, W.
Publication Date: 2014