Sexual and reproductive health

Care in normal birth

Practical guide

World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research

Image of cover

Publication details

Number of pages: 60
Publication date: 1996
Languages: English, French
WHO reference number: WHO/FRH/MSM/96.24 - Web only


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.