Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Care in normal birth: a practical guide

World Health Organization, Maternal and Newborn Health/Safe Motherhood Unit

Publication details

Number of pages: 53
Publication date: 1996
Languages: English, French, German, Indonesian, Serbo-Croatian
WHO reference number: WHO/FRH/MSM/96.24 (English and French)



This document presents universal guidelines for the routine care of women during uncomplicated labour and childbirth. Reflecting the consensus reached by an international group of experts, the report responds to the proliferation of practices designed to start, augment, accelerate, regulate or monitor the physiological process of labour in industrialized and developing countries alike. Recommendations for routine care are based on a critical review of what research has to say about the effectiveness and safety of 59 common procedures and practices.