Respectful care in labour

Stones, William (2016) Respectful care in labour. Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine, 26 (11). pp. 341-342. ISSN 1751-7214 (

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Provision of respectful care in labour requires awareness of the special circumstances of childbirth as a natural process. The need for woman centred humanistic care runs alongside the duty to provide access to clinical interventions as required, recognising the limitations of risk assessment. Avoidance of over medicalisation and inappropriate interventions contributes to respectful care, as does leadership to develop and sustain good working relationships among staff, so that women experience care provided by staff who are functioning at their best. Institutionalising respectful care provision alongside evidence based clinical practice represents the goal of ‘mother–baby friendly birthing facilities’ as advocated by FIGO.