Healthy Birth Practice 4: Avoid interventions that are not medically necessary

Healthy Birth Practices

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Avoid Interventions That Are Not Medically Necessary

Healthy Birth Practice 4: Avoid Interventions That Are Not Medically Necessary
Adapted from The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence.

Although research shows that routine and unnecessary interference in the natural process of labor and birth is not likely to be beneficial—and may indeed be harmful—most U.S. births today are intervention-intensive. A majority of women surveyed for Listening to Mothers experienced one or more of the following interventions during labor:

  • Continuous electronic fetal monitoring (EFM)(93 percent)
  • Restrictions on eating (87 percent)
  • IV fluids (86 percent)
  • Restrictions on drinking (66 percent)
  • Episiotomy (35 percent)
  • Epidural anesthesia (63 percent)
  • Artificially ruptured membranes (55 percent)
  • Artificial oxytocin augmentation (53 percent)
  • Cesarean surgery (24 percent)

Download the Lamaze Healthy Birth Practice Paper, available in eight languages, to learn why these interventions are usually unnecessary and sometimes harmful.

Learn how to keep your birth as normal as possible if you need:

  • Continuous EFM
  • An intravenous (IV) line or restrictions on food/fluid intake 
  • An episiotomy 
  • An epidural 
  • Artificial rupture of membranes 
  • Articial oxytocin augmentation 
  • Cesarean surgery

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