Care in Normal Birth: A Practical Guide

ISSN 0256-5004 (Print)

These are practices which the World Health Organization has identified as clearly harmful or ineffective and which should be eliminated:

  1. Routine use of enema.

  2. Routine use of pubic shaving.

  3. Routine intravenous infusion in labour.

  4. Routine prophylactic insertion of intravenous cannula.

  5. Routine use of the supine position

  6. Rectal examination.

  7. The use of X-ray pelvimetry.

  8. Administration of oxytocic at any time before delivery in such a way that their effect cannot be controlled.

  9. Routine use of lithotomy position with or without stirrups during labour

  10. Sustained, directed bearing down efforts (Valsalva manoeuvre) during the second stage of labour.

  11. Massaging and stretching the perineum during the second stage.

  12. Use of oral tablets of Ergometrine in the third stage of labour.

  13. Routine use of parenteral Ergometrine in the third stage of labour.

  14. Routine lavage of the uterus after delivery.

  15. Routine revision (manual exploration) of the uterus after labour.


AIMS supports all maternity service users to navigate the system as it exists, and campaigns for a system which truly meets the needs of all.

The AIMS Journal spearheads discussions about change and development in the maternity services. From the beginning of 2018, the journal has been published online and is freely available to anyone with an interest in pregnancy and birth issues. Membership of AIMS continues to support and fund our ability to create the online journal, as well as supporting our other work, including campaigning and our Helpline. To contact the editors, please email: editor@aims.org.uk

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