Hospital Policies and Practices Concerning Normal Childbirth in Jordan

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Abstract

We investigated reported policies and practices of normal delivery in Jordanian hospitals to assess whether these practices are evidence-based and whether women are given choices in delivery. Staff at a nationally representative sample of 30 hospitals were interviewed using a semistructured questionnaire. The surveyed hospitals were found to be well equipped to deal with obstetric emergencies, and many follow evidence-based procedures. The internal evaluation system, however, typically is based on team feedback, and 20 percent of hospitals reported having no internal evaluation procedure. Some unnecessary procedures, including pubic shaving and enemas, are frequently practiced. Women are restricted in their movement during labor, and the lithotomy position is usually adopted for delivery; the majority of hospitals report strapping women in the delivery position. Most hospitals do not allow social support during labor and delivery. Measures are needed to encourage the best evidence-based practices regarding normal childbirth, including better evaluation. Jordanian women need much more information about their delivery options so that they can exercise their preferences wherever possible.

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