Birth: an evidence-based approach

Paramedics are involved in transferring women during labour and must also be able to manage births occurring outside of the hospital setting. Prehospital obstetric incidents represent a significant proportion of large cost litigation claims in the United Kingdom (Dobbie and Cooke, 2008). Therefore, it is important to have an understanding of the physiology of birth and how best to avoid unnecessary complications. Culturally, birth is perceived as a dangerous event, and birth in an unplanned setting can be a frightening experience for women and for others present. However, birth is a normal physiological process and in the absence of prior interventions, complications are uncommon (Walsh, 2007). This paper will discuss an evidence-based approach to the management of normal birth and provide recommendations for practice which will reduce the risk of complications occurring and potentially improve the experience for women.

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