WHO / MATERNAL HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS

15-Feb-2018 00:02:01
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a new set of recommendations that would facilitate a positive experience for women during childbirth. WHO
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STORY: WHO / MATERNAL HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS
TRT: 02:01
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 15 FEBRUARY 2018, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Exterior, WHO flag

15 FEBRUARY 2018, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Olufemi Oladapo, Medical Officer, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization (WHO):
“For the first time, WHO is making recommendations on non-clinical measures that can be applied during labour and childbirth. The first of those is respectful maternity care. There is something about effective communication, there also is something about labour companionship. Although we had labour companionship as part of our recommendations in the past, however looking at non-clinical measures in general it is quite important for women. We realised that if you want to actually provide high quality labour and childbirth care, the focus should not just be on clinical care provision, but also on how the care that you are providing is experienced by the woman.”

FILE – WHO - MARCH 2016, EL SALVADOR

3. Wide shot, pregnant women

15 FEBRUARY 2018, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Olufemi Oladapo, Medical Officer, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization (WHO):
“So what WHO is bringing, some of the recommendations, is going directly into the heart of that rule to say that it does not apply to all women and that women should be given the change to labour a bit slower than 1cm per hour, because that is how their body wants to work, and that is what we should support.”

FILE – WHO - April 2014, Central African Republic

5. Various shots, Newborn baby and mother

15 FEBRUARY 2018, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Olufemi Oladapo, Medical Officer, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization (WHO):
“When you provide simple measures such as good communication, support and compassion from staff having a labour companion by your side when you are giving birth, the experience that a woman is going to have in the end is going to be very positive. And this positive experience as have a life-long effect, a lifelong impact on the health of the mother, her wellbeing as well as that of the baby.”

FILE – WHO - April 2014, Central African Republic

7. Wide shot, Newborn baby and mother
STORYLINE
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a new set of recommendations that would facilitate a positive experience for women during childbirth.

Speaking to reporter in Geneva, Olufemi Oladapo, Medical Officer at WHO said “for the first time, WHO is making recommendations on non-clinical measures that can be applied during labour and childbirth.”

Oladapo added “the first of those is respectful maternity care. There is something about effective communication, there also is something about labour companionship. Although we had labour companionship as part of our recommendations in the past, however looking at non-clinical measures in general it is quite important for women.”

He continued “we realised that if you want to actually provide high quality labour and childbirth care, the focus should not just be on clinical care provision, but also on how the care that you are providing is experienced by the woman.”

According to WHO, worldwide, an estimated 140 million births take place every year. Most of these occur without complications for women and their babies. Yet, over the past 20 years, practitioners have increased the use of interventions that were previously only used to avoid risks or treat complications, such as oxytocin infusion to speed up labour or caesarean sections.

On one centimetre per hour rule, Oladapo said “what WHO is bringing, some of the recommendations, is going directly into the heart of that rule to say that it does not apply to all women and that women should be given the change to labour a bit slower than 1cm per hour, because that is how their body wants to work, and that is what we should support.”

Childbirth is a normal physiological process that can be accomplished without complications for the majority of women and babies. However, studies show a substantial proportion of healthy pregnant women undergo at least one clinical intervention during labour and birth. They are also often subjected to needless and potentially harmful routine interventions.

Oladapo noted “when you provide simple measures such as good communication, support and compassion from staff having a labour companion by your side when you are giving birth, the experience that a woman is going to have in the end is going to be very positive. And this positive experience as have a life-long effect, a lifelong impact on the health of the mother, her wellbeing as well as that of the baby.”

The new WHO guideline includes 56 evidence-based recommendations on what care is needed throughout labour and immediately after for the woman and her baby. These include having a companion of choice during labour and childbirth; ensuring respectful care and good communication between women and health providers; maintaining privacy and confidentiality; and allowing women to make decisions about their pain management, labour and birth positions and natural urge to push, among others.
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