A woman friendly birth initiative: protecting, promoting and supporting normal birth
To increase the vaginal birth rate in NSW and decrease the caesarean section (CS) operation rate
To develop, implement and evaluate strategies to support women to have a positive experience of pregnancy and birth
To ensure that midwives and doctors have the knowledge and skills to support women who choose to give birth
- without technological interventions unless necessary
- with non-pharmacological intervention
- in birthing pools
- using different positions for labour and birth
10 steps to providing woman centred labour and birth care
- Normal birth guidelines
Have a written normal birth policy/guidelines, along with other relevant policies, that are routinely communicated to all health care staff.
Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
- Continuity of carer
Provide or facilitate access to midwifery continuity of carer programs in collaboration with GPs and obstetricians for all women with appropriate consultation, referral and transfer guidelines in place.
- Inform of benefits
Inform all pregnant women about the benefits of normal birth and factors that promote normal birth.
- Pain relief policy
Have a written policy on pain relief in labour that includes the use of water immersion in labour and birth.
- Postdates guideline
Have a written postdates policy/guideline that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
- Vaginal birth after caesarean section (VBAC)
Provide or facilitate access to vaginal birth after caesarean section operation (VBAC) that is supported by a written vaginal birth after caesarean section operation policy/guideline and health care staff with the skills necessary to implement this policy/guideline.
- External cephalic version
Provide or facilitate access to external cephalic version.
- One to one care
Provide one to one care to all women experiencing their first labour or undertaking a vaginal birth after caesarean section operation, vaginal breech or vaginal twin birth.
- Postpartum debriefing
Provide formal debriefing in the immediate postpartum period for all women requiring primary caesarean section operation or instrumental birth with the opportunity for further discussion and information transfer.