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  1. 25 Nov 2013
    Benefits and harms of planned hospital birth compared with planned home birth for low-risk pregnant women
    Most pregnancies among healthy women are normal, and most births could take place without unnecessary medical intervention. However, it is not possible to predict with certainty that absolutely no complications will occur in the course of a birth. Thus, in many countries it is believed that the safest option for all women is to give birth at hospital. ...
  2. 25 Nov 2013
    Umbilical cord antiseptics for preventing sepsis and death among newborns
    The umbilical cord connects the baby and mother during pregnancy. The cord is cut after birth. The cord stump then dries and falls off, generally within five to 15 days. Infection of the umbilical cord stump (omphalitis), caused by skin bacteria, is a significant cause of illness and death in newborn babies in developing countries. This review evaluated ...
  3. 30 Oct 2013
    Prophylactic oxytocin for the third stage of labour
    Prophylactic oxytocin at any dose used routinely after birth can reduce blood loss with fewer side effects than ergot alkaloids. The third stage of labour is that period from birth of the baby until delivery of the placenta, however, complications can continue to occur once the placenta is removed. The degree of blood loss during this stage depends, ...
  4. 9 Oct 2013
    Mothers' position during the first stage of labour
    There is little doubt that women should be encouraged to utilise positions which give them the greatest comfort, control and benefit during first stage labour. As women in most western societies now lie in bed for the entire duration of their labour, it is important that they understand the risks and benefits of the positions they choose. This review ...
  5. 16 Sep 2013
    A package of care to actively manage labour in women who are at low risk of complications to reduce caesarean section rates
    Many countries have an increasing rate of caesarean section. Higher rates do not always give additional health gains and they can increase maternal risks and affect subsequent pregnancies. Active management of labour has been proposed to reduce the number of caesarean births. Active management includes routine amniotomy (artificial rupture of the membranes), ...
  6. 22 Aug 2013
    Eating and drinking in labour Podcast
    In some cultures, food and drinks are consumed during labour for nourishment and comfort to help meet the demands of labour. However, in many birth settings, oral intake is restricted in response to work by Mendelson in the 1940s. Mendelson reported that during general anaesthesia, there was an increased risk of the stomach contents entering the lungs. ...
  7. 3 Aug 2013
    Internal versus external registration of contractions during induced or augmented labour
    Induction and augmentation of labour are common procedures within obstetric practice with various indications for mother and child. When contractions are stimulated by intravenous oxytocin, registration of the frequency of contractions is important for determination of the right dosage of medication. Uterine contractions can be monitored through the ...
  8. 23 Jul 2013
    Enemas during labour
    Scientific research evidence does not support the routine use of enemas during the first stage of labour. Giving women enemas during labour has been routine practice in delivery wards of many countries and settings. Occasionally women leak from their back passage whilst giving birth and it was thought an enema in early labour would reduce this soiling ...
  9. 15 Jul 2013
    Continuous support for women during childbirth
    Continuous support in labour increased the chance of a spontaneous vaginal birth, had no harm, and women were more satisfied. Historically women have been attended and supported by other women during labour and birth. However in many countries, as more women are giving birth in hospital rather than at home, continuous support during labour has become ...
  10. 15 Jul 2013
    Postpartum misoprostol for preventing maternal mortality and morbidity
    Bleeding from the uterus or womb after childbirth is normal, but excessive bleeding (haemorrhage) is an important cause of death and can be reduced by medication that causes the uterus to contract. Misoprostol is one such medication and is a tablet marketed to treat certain stomach ulcers but which also contracts the uterus and reduces bleeding. It ...

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