The three U.S. midwifery organizations, MANA, ACNM, and NACPM, recently came together to make a joint statement regarding the support of normal, physiological childbirth. In 1996, The WHO called for the elimination of all unnecessary interventions in childbirth, yet as you know, some of these interventions are being overused in our maternity health system, often being responsible for negative maternal and neonatal outcomes.
The statement’s goal was to give a clearer picture as to what a normal, physiologic birth looks like and to identify ways to avoid the unnecessary use of interventions. The statement also identifies factors which disrupt normal childbirth and those that are conducive to a normal, physiological birth. Lastly, the statement is a platform for system changes and policy in our maternity health care system. The ultimate goal is to improve the health of all mothers and infants by avoiding costly, and unneeded interventions during birth.
“A normal physiologic labor and birth is one that is powered by the innate human capacity of the woman and fetus. This birth is more likely to be safe and healthy because there is no unnecessary intervention that disrupts normal physiologic processes . Some women and/or fetuses will develop complications that warrant medical attention to assure safe and healthy outcomes. However, supporting the normal physiologic processes of labor and birth, even in the presence of such complications, has the potential to enhance best outcomes for the mother and infant.” Read the full statement here.