Current Research makes it obvious that aggressive management of human parturition is not, in general, in the best interests of the vast majority of mothers and babies. Practices such as enforced confinement of the mother to bed during labor, amniotomy, administration of drugs that depress the central nervous system of both the mother and her newborn infant, forceps extraction, etc., are potentially detrimental to both mother and infant. If the outcome of pregnancy is to be improved, the number of nurse-midwives must be increased and their services expanded. Efforts aimed at reducing infant mortality by concentrating on the expansion of neonatal intensive care units are secondary not primary.