If you're a soon-to-be mom dreaming of experiencing a natural birth, here's good news for you.
A new set of guidelines about women in labor has been released by the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. In a nutshell, it urges medical staff to give support to low-risk patients, or "women who have no meconium staining, intrapartum bleeding, or abnormal or undetermined fetal test results before birth or at initial admission," and let the birth progress naturally.
As with standard hospital procedures, women who are in labor are usually subjected to a number of medical interventions, such as electronic fetal monitoring, induction, and episiotomy (a surgical cut done during the pushing stage), for health and safety reasons. However, not all of these are always necessary -- yes, Cesarean sections included -- but many would-be moms are just too shy to ask what these interventions are for.
The new set of guidelines highlights an important point: "When women are observed or admitted for pain or fatigue in latent labor, techniques such as education and support, oral hydration, positions of comfort, and nonpharmacologic pain management techniques such as massage or water immersion may be beneficial.”
This means administering as little drugs as possible to the patient.
It also discourages the medical staff from forcing the water bag to break, unless there is a pressing need to do so.
“For women with normally progressing labor and no evidence of fetal compromise, routine amniotomy need not be undertaken unless required to facilitate monitoring.”
Research shows that medical interventions are often done out of convenience than necessity. Make sure to do your research prior to D-day so that you can make informed choices for yourself and your baby when circumstances call for it.