Lamaze Institute for Normal Birth
Care Practice Papers
The Six Care Practices that Support Normal Birth
The six care practices below are supported by research studies that examine the benefits and risks of maternity care practices. Therefore, they represent “evidence-based care,” which is the gold standard for maternity care worldwide. Evidence-based care means “using the best research about the effects of specific procedures, drugs, tests, and treatments, to help guide decision-making.” (3) The Lamaze Institute for Normal Birth Care Practice Papers provide more information about the evidence that supports each care practice.
1. Labor begins on its own
2. Freedom of movement throughout labor
3. Continuous labor support
4. No routine interventions
5. Spontaneous pushing in upright or gravity-neutral positions
6. No separation of mother and baby after birth with unlimited opportunities for breastfeeding
Unfortunately, a recent study of women’s childbirth experiences showed that interference in the normal processes of labor and birth is extraordinarily common. For instance, labor began by artificial induction for more than one-third of women, almost 70% of women who delivered vaginally were immobile during labor, and 74% of women gave birth lying on their backs.
(While this information cam out in 2007 it is still relevant today!)