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Preconception, pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care

Care during childbirth

This section includes RHL summaries of published systematic reviews on various aspects of pregnancy and childbirth, including preconception care, management of miscarriage, antenatal care, medical problems in pregnancy, disorders that might affect the unborn baby, complications arising during pregnancy, the induction of labour, and the care of the mother and newborn during and immediately after childbirth.

Care during labour - 1st stage

Routine perineal shaving on admission in labour

Vaginal chlorhexidine during labour to prevent early-onset neonatal group B streptococcal infection

Digital vaginal examination for routine assessment and identification of delay in active labour

Babies with specific conditions during labour

Antibiotics for meconium-stained amniotic fluid in labour for preventing maternal and neonatal infections

Amnioinfusion for meconium-stained liquor in labour

Abnormal presentations and positions of the baby

Interventions for helping to turn term breech babies to head first presentation when using external cephalic version

Care during labour - 2nd stage

Fetal intrapartum pulse oximetry for fetal assessment in labour

Fundal pressure during the second stage of labour

Symphysiotomy for feto-pelvic disproportion

Perineal trauma

Methods of repair for obstetric anal sphincter injury

Antibiotic prophylaxis for third- and fourth-degree perineal tear during vaginal birth

Absorbable suture materials for primary repair of episiotomy and second degree tears

Caesarean section

Vaginal preparation with antiseptic solution before caesarean section for preventing postoperative infections

Different classes of antibiotics given to women routinely for preventing infection at caesarean section

Closure versus non-closure of the peritoneum at caesarean section

Care during labour - 3rd stage

Woman in sitting position receiving oxytocin.

Active versus expectant management for women in the third stage of labour

Controlled cord traction for the third stage of labour

Packages of care as active management to prevent delays in active labour