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Keywords:

  • Breastfeeding;
  • Doulas;
  • Labor support;
  • Obstetric intervention;
  • induction of labor;
  • spontaneous labor

ABSTRACT

Interfering with the normal physiological process of labor and birth in the absence of medical necessity increases the risk of complications for mother and baby. Six evidence-based care practices promote physiological birth: avoiding medically unnecessary induction of labor, allowing freedom of movement for the laboring woman, providing continuous labor support, avoiding routine interventions and restrictions, encouraging spontaneous pushing in nonsupine positions, and keeping mothers and babies together after birth without restrictions on breastfeeding. Nurses are in a unique position to provide these care practices and to help childbearing women make informed choices based on evidence.