Click here for the pdf with all ten steps listed, with commentary, and an appendix on out-of-hospital birth, as well as links to the full discussion of the evidence. (Many of these are also included in the WHO’s “Safe Motherhood” guidelines; I more fully discuss these in a 4-part post, beginning here.) In brief, here are the ten steps:
- Offers all birthing mothers unrestricted access to birth companions, labor support, professional midwifery care.
- Provides accurate, descriptive, statistical information about birth care practices.
- Provides culturally competent care.
- Provides the birthing woman with freedom of movement to walk, move, assume positions of her choice. [Here is a link to some examples.]
- Has clearly defined policies, procedures for collaboration, consultation, links to community resources.
- Does not routinely employ practices, procedures unsupported by scientific evidence.
- Educates staff in nondrug methods of pain relief and does not promote use of analgesic, anesthetic drugs.
- Encourages all mothers, families to touch, hold, breastfeed, care for their babies.
- Discourages nonreligious circumcision of the newborn.
- Strives to achieve the WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative to promote successful breastfeeding.
Appendix: Birth can safely take place at home and in birthing centers.