WHO Intrapartum Care Guidelines Recommended and Not-Recommended Practices During Labor for Positive Childbirth Experience Among Low-Risk Pregnant Women

Recommended PracticesNot-Recommended Practices
First stage of labor
  • Using partograph to assess the progress of labor

  • Offering alternate/upright birthing positions to laboring women

  • Encouraging mobility during labor

  • Performing per vaginal examination at an interval of 4 hours

  • Doing routine perineal/pubic shaving

  • Performing routine enema on admission

  • Augmenting with intravenous oxytocin prior to confirmation of delay in labor

Second stage of labor
Encouraging the adoption of the birthing position of choice including upright (semi-recumbent, squatting, and sitting) positions
  • Applying manual fundal pressure

  • Routinely or liberally using episiotomy

Third stage of labor
Prophylactically administering uterotonics immediately after the birth of the child
Neonatal care
  • Wrapping the baby immediately after birth

  • Delaying cord umbilical cord clamping (not earlier than 1 minute)

  • Providing immediate skin-to-skin contact of the newborn with the mother (newborn put on mother's abdomen)

  • Initiating early breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth

  • Routinely suctioning of nose and throat of the newborn in all cases

All stages of labor
  • Providing respectful maternity care throughout the labor

  • Allowing a companion of choice throughout labor and childbirth

  • Abbreviation: WHO, World Health Organization.

  • Source: WHO recommendations on intrapartum care for positive childbirth experience.