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Pearls for Normal Birth

Here are some things to keep in mind if you or your partner are planning on having a natural birth:

  • Oral hydration and nutrition in labor optimize outcomes
  • Avoid routine intravenous fluids
  • Intermittent auscultation is safe for low-risk labors
  • Ambulation and freedom of movement facilitate labor progress
  • Hydrotherapy is a safe and effective comfort measure during labor
  • Continuous labor support is the standard of care
  • Avoid routine rupture of the membranes
  • Expect individualized labor progress
  • Support initial passive descent and self-directed open-glottis pushing
  • Avoid routine episiotomy and aggressive perineal massage
  • Delayed cord clamping improves neonatal outcomes
  • Facilitate immediate skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding
  • Trial of labor after cesarean is the standard of care
  • Planned vaginal breech birth may be a safe option in an inter-professional setting
  • Inter-professional education, collaboration, and team-based care promote optimal outcomes
  • Practice according to current evidence and trust the body’s innate capacity to birth
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